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Friday 1 May 2020

11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter

This is quite emotionally intense with quite a focus on mental illness. The present-tense narrative didn't work (but then, it never does, in my opinion). Nor, in this instance, did the first-person POV; the disappearance of a young mother on holiday in Tenerife has a profound effect on more than just the main narrator, and we never really quite get into the minds of the other characters also distressingly affected by it all. There are, in fact, two narrators: the mother who disappeared, telling her story, and the daughter, Anna, telling her story, thirty years later. The build-up to the ending is compelling, but the final 'reveal' was a little disappointing, flat and a tad unbelievable. 

Although I did quite enjoy it, it turns out that the book blurb is slightly misleading. 'And then a body is found'. Well, yes, but not until the very end and you've pretty much guessed whose it is by 75%, in any case. Moreover, the title is also misleading. The '11 missed calls' only get a brief and passing mention. If you blinked while reading that bit, you could well have missed it. 

It's quite well written and the author certainly portrayed both narrators well. The anguish and anxiety of them both came over well and sympathetically. 

Editing-wise, I do wish authors and their editors would learn that standing is not the same as standing up and sitting is not the same as sitting down. Look it up. 

Okay, but not great.

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