Set in the 1980s, when images of missing children first occupied the mass media, is/was explores one town's complex emotional reaction to the brutal rape and murder of a child within its bounds. It is October 1983 and eight-year-old Abigail Wren has disappeared from a tiny Ontario town. In the crosscuts and fragments of each day's news, word of her abduction filters into the troubled Fitch family household. Roland Fitch becomes unhinged by long kept secrets, while his wife, Eva, turns inwards, tracing the aftermath of her own surgically precise loss. In the days and weeks following Abigail's death, the Fitch children, Andrew and Isabel, are increasingly left to parent themselves. As the already tenuous boundaries between family members are slowly effaced, once solid definitions -- of the child, the adult, and the community -- come unmoored.
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Review: is/wasUser Review - Tara - Goodreads
At first I thought this book was a little too post-modern for my tastes, but it ended up winning me over. Sampirisi is a talented writer and is able to capture a lot of emotion with minimal words/effort. The book really draws you in. Read full review