Kent and Angie Rowen . . . have everything going for them—popular, good jobs, happy children and grandchildren, prominent parents. They are the last couple the people of Newbridge would expect to have a midlife crisis. Trouble on paradise begins when Kent, successful insurance agent, decides to follow his Walter Mitty dream of becoming an author. Not content with one published novel he is at work on a second, With Hoops of Steel. Night after night he secludes himself in his den, slaving away feverishly at his laptop, neglecting his wife. He is a chapter shy of finishing the manuscript when the sky falls: his laptop and backup CD are stolen! He sinks into a major life-event depression. No one in the family is spared the grief. His psychotherapist is about to recommend new and dangerous deep brain surgery when there’s word that With Hoops of Steel has been spotted in the bookstore. Will this push Kent deeper into his black hole, or will it put him on the road to recovery? But how can he prove the book is his? Hmm. His professor-friend Scott Navano knows. The turn of the millennium seemed to me as good a time as any to leave behind a lifetime of nose-to-the-grindstone adventures as WWII pilot, English teacher, and school superintendent in order to chase my favorite phantom—becoming an author. In the first scene of Manuscript Missing we get an early hint of how devastated amateur writer Kent Rowen would become if somehow his manuscript disappeared. Guess what. It happens. I hasten to mention that Angie, his wife, is also missing. We watch as the Rowens and their families cope with the crisis. We empathize with Kent and Angie in their deep depression, loneliness, and utter despair. We follow other characters chasing their phantoms, some similar, by coincidence I’m sure, to may own. We watch a psychoanalyst, a lawyer, and a literary critic at work—fragments, no doubt, of someone’s Walter Mitty dreams.
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Angela Rowen Angie says Angie's Attorney Quinn bedroom believe Brockman Carl Frey chair chuckles Cliff clinical depression comes Conchita dad's Dave Dave Owen dear dinner draft drive eyes face feel final chapter floppy disk Fort Wayne Fred Eaton galley proof gives Gramps Grandma guess hand hear Hoops of Steel Jason Jeff says Jude Judge Keen Kent Rowen Kent's kids kiss Koch Konstock laptop leave literary style looks lunch manuscript minutes morning mother muses Nana Newbridge night novel o'clock Okay Owen pauses picks Pop-Pop pulls puts returns rock music Sally says Sally Taylor Sally's Scagloti Scott Navano serial comma shakes his head silent sits smiles sofa sorry stares storyline talk tell Thanks there's thing Toledo tomorrow Tony turns Unforced Michael wait walks week What's wonderful writing