Once Was Lost
It appears to Sam that everything in her life is broken down. Sam’s father is a pastor, her beautiful but fragile mother is an alcoholic who has had to go to rehab after a DUI. Even though their church is quite successful, money is tight, so tight that every time their credit card is used, they breathe a sigh of relief when it goes through. The world around Sam is broken down too – the town is suffering from a massive heat wave and both the air conditioning and her ceiling fan are broken. The plants outside that her mother had planted are dying. The heat is oppressive, suffocating.
And then the unthinkable happens. A thirteen-year-old girl in Sam’s church is kidnapped. Sam’s father becomes the family’s spokesman and encourages Sam to go and stay with her friends until the crisis is over. Sam resists but ultimately agrees to go for a short time. As the search for Jody continues, the likelihood of her being found diminishes and Sam’s faith flounders.
I honestly don’t think I can do a better job of reviewing this book than Liz Burns did over at Tea Cozy so I’m not going to try. Liz hits all the important points and I’m only mentioning the title here because there may be some people not familiar with her blog (her blog is probably my favorite literature blog). I found the book to be beautifully written, with lots of possibilities for discussion with literature circles or book clubs.