professornana (professornana) wrote,

letting the story tell itself

Carol Plum-Ucci's latest novel, THE NIGHT MY SISTER WENT MISSING, proves once more what a talented writer can do. Instead of telling her story in a linear narrative, Plum-Ucci instead allows the story to tell itself. When his sister disappears from the dock after a gun has discharged (perhaps in her direction?), Kurt Carmody spends some anxious hours at police headquarters. There he listens as "witness" after "witness" spins her and his part of the story. Was Casey shot? Who fired the gun? How do the others in attendance play into the plot? As always, Plum-Ucci keeps readers off balance. The story is more than a mystery; it is a social commentary of sorts in which Kurt's own ambivalence about his future combined with his growing dissatisfaction with the Mystic Marvels, the group of kids who have always hung out together. Who is in? Who is out? Who decides? The book explores some of the darker side of a small community.

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