May 12, 2011
This book was provided by the author.
Novelist Melissa Foster is back with a new novel and you'll find no signs of a sophomore slump here. Chasing Amanda is an emotionally charged read that explores the boundless wounds of the loss of a child and the perplexity of a paranormal gift: "the Knowing". Both of which notoriously tear families and, even towns, apart.
And now it‟s like he never existed to them. They pummeled him and forgot him—forgetting that he was a person, a brother, a son. Pummeled him and walked away, thinking they were protecting their community from some...monster.
Molly relocates, with her husband and son, to Boyds, Maryland after a devastating loss in search of peace in a small town atmosphere only to be met, eight years later, with unresolved mysteries and shameful secrets of the town in which she thought she'd found some semblance of normalcy.
I can empathize with Molly's desire to right a wrong by finding the currently missing little girl, Tracey. It's hard to imagine not only reliving the pain of your own familiar experience but also being impelled with visions of the current victim's ordeal. The men in her life are struggling with their own conflicting feelings of her gift often wondering if it's merely a question of her sanity being intact. The other residents of this farming community all seem to be lost in their own mired pasts. At almost every turn, another secret arises meanwhile, Molly battles with the Knowing that wants her to find the little lost girl and the fact that she hasn't fully forgiven herself for her own loss. The chain of events lead to an unexpected ending that I honestly thought I had pegged early on in the book. Many secrets come to light and the townspeople truly begin to heal while others have to face their past demons and retribution. I'm glad I wasn't disappointed with a predictable read.
Foster writes with clarity, warmth, and intensity. She lets the reader into her narrative omnisciently which can be a blessing and a curse when dealing with such perverse subject matter. With the penning of this second novel, I can now say that Melissa Foster's main writing talent lies in her ability to write nuanced characters that display great humanity in the midst of the bleakest circumstances.