Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Sometimes, we lose sight of ourselves when we're not paying enough attention."

When Sandy Shortt is ten years old her classmate Jenny-May Butler disappears, and the very public search garners a great deal of attention for her small Irish town. Though Jenny-May lived across the street from Sandy she was more antagonist than friend but her mysterious disappearance obsesses Sandy. From that day on she finds herself preoccupied with finding all things that go missing (those single socks in the dryer, that , sweater you wore one time, the stray notebook, even something as trivial as a paper clip). Sandy looks for all lost things and grows more isolated from the rest of life.

I found myself relating to the description of Sandy’s obsession for “missing” those things lost (though i think i believe i might lose the meaning and the memory they held for me while Sandy just wants to understand where they go, how they go~but reading this reminded me of so many things i could never find~the anklet i lost and never found in my first boyfriend’s bed, the ring i lost the night i spent guarding the Greek theatre with my current crush~all the watches that disappeared in my apartment on Catherine Street {and it never occurred to the me who likes to think myself cynical that some things disappeared into roommates hands~until now~almost fifteen years later} perhaps loosing things attatches even more meaning and memory to them than keeping them ever would…)

Though i have a bit of the OCD myself, Sandy takes it to rather dysfunctional levels. Her obsession with searching continues into adulthood when she becomes an agent for the Gardá Síochána (the Irish National Police Service~i get the Scotland Yard impression here), and later a Missing Persons investigator on her own. Cecelia Ahern delivers her story in There’s No Place Like Here in delectable pieces, she made me want to read more of her work (and i was rather surprised to discover she wrote P.S., I Love You.)

Sandy stumbles into a land of the lost and is at first somewhat elated to find all things that have ever gone missing. But as details of her life and those of Jack Ruttle (the man who had hired Sandy to find his brother just before she disappeared) are slowly unveiled she begins to “miss” the not only the life that she left behind (and had isolated herself from) but the chances she had never given herself. She finds herself longing to return to her life (and the life she might have if she tries…)

This book is going onto my favorites list (at least for the moment…)

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