Sunday, May 16, 2010

hiding in the bookshelves #2

I found the following book in one of the book cases in the bedroom. (for an explanation of this hiding-in-the-bookshelves feature, see this post)

I really like Sarah Dunant. I first discovered her when I bought The Birth of Venus on a whim. I loved it and set out to pick up her other books. So far I've read In the Company of the Courtesan (another historical fiction, not as good as The Birth of Venus) and the Hannah Wolfe mysteries (Birth Marks, Fatlands, and Under My Skin).

Mapping the Edge by Sarah Dunant

People go missing every day. They walk out of their front doors and out of their lives into the silence of cold statistics. For those left behind it is the cruelest of long good-byes.
Anna, a self-sufficient and reliable single mother, packs her bags one day for a short vacation to Italy. She leaves her beloved six-year-old daughter, Lily, at home in London with good friends. But when Anna doesn't return, everyone begins to make excuses until the likelihood that she might not come back becomes chillingly clear. And the people who thought they knew Anna best realize they don't know her at all. How could she leave her daughter? Why doesn't she call? Is she enjoying a romantic tryst with a secret lover? Or has she been abducted or even killed by a disturbed stranger?
Did that person you loved so much and thought you knew so well did they simply choose to go and not come back? Or did someone do the choosing for them?
Dunant, a masterly British suspense writer, skillfully interweaves parallel narratives that are stretched taut with tension even as they raise difficult questions about motherhood, friendship, and accountability. In this compelling hybrid of sophisticated crime writing and modern women's fiction, Dunant challenges and unnerves us as she redefines the boundaries of the psychological thriller.

This one sounded intrigued so I started reading it this weekend. I have to admit that I was put off by the two possible storylines told simultaneously, but I decided to stick it out.

Here's a quote that struck me: "She had already begun to feel somewhat dissatisfied with her life, as if the inexorable march of feminism demanded that she always be better or braver than she was, not allowing her to rest or take pleasure from what had been achieved" (115).

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