Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January Magazine: best books of 2008

One title from January Magazine's best books of 2008 list:
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan (Viking) 320 pages

A teenage girl goes missing. Search parties are formed. Pale-faced parents speak to television cameras in quavering voices. Rewards are offered, flyers are taped to store windows, hopes rise and fall. By now, we’re sadly all too familiar with the unique cadence of events that follow an abduction. Most of us can pinpoint the exact moment when our optimistic faith turns to grim certainty the victim is not only missing, but murdered. In one of the best novels of his varied career, Stewart O’Nan charts the case of one family whose college-bound daughter vanishes into thin air while driving to work in a small Ohio town. With an almost forensic efficiency, O’Nan examines the effect of the mystery on the family, friends and the entire town. What happened to 18-year-old Kim Larsen is less important than how her parents and sister deal with the emotional aftershocks. -- David Abrams
Read about every title to make January Magazine's list of the best books of 2008.

The Page 69 Test: Songs for the Missing.

--Marshal Zeringue