Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wrap up

The copy of The Year We Disappeared that I read came to me from Interlibrary loan from the Newbury, MA Public Library. It has a sticker indicating that it is shelved in the Young Adult section of the library. It is definately a lighter, and quicker read than Homicide. The book is organized into alternating chapters written by Cylin and John Busby. It really is like reading two different books about the same set of events. I sometimes expected one of the authors to follow up on something the other one wrote, but it did not always happen. It was also frustrating sometimes to read a story about a family of five, but only getting the perspective of two of them. Anecdotes about Polly (John's wife and Cylin's mother) show her both as strong and vulnerable, which is certainly believeable. Some of the stories I would have liked to have read her perspective on though. For instance, throughout the ordeal she worked full-time and finished nursing school, with straight A's. One can assume that this was a struggle for her, but we are only told the end result, we don't necessarily see the struggle, or get insight into what gave her strength.

The title of the book, as well as the blurbs I read about it, lead me to believe that the story would focus on the family's relocation from Cape Cod. In fact, the move doesn't happen until quite near the end of the book. At first I wondered why they picked the title, and then I realized that the family actually disappeared by degrees. After John was shot the family recieved around-the-clock police protection from the town of Falmouth. They were followed by police officers wherever they went, and eventually, when that became too expensive, a huge fortress was built around their house, with a vicious dog for additionl protection. The family virtually never went out except to school and work, and no one ever came to see them. They actually disappeared in plain sight. When they decided to leave Falmouth for an undisclosed location, they were actually reappearing, once again able to live their lives publically.

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