When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister. Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…
The narrative begins with Faith losing her virginity to her boyfriend, Thomas, in the back of his van. She’s a normal teenager but when her Mother receives a phone call from the police, everything changes. Laurel is coming home. Faith’s older sister was abducted from their home when she was a young child and with her parents doing everything in their power to bring her home, it was never quite good enough until one day, her kidnapper let her go. But why? The plot was an instant hit in my eyes and I was drawn to the story from the opening chapter.
“That’s how it’s been my whole life: in the background, slightly out of focus.”
As a main character and the narrator, Faith was very interesting to read about – she had a boyfriend, a best friend and she wasn’t afraid to tell people how she really feels. When Laurel returns home, Faith tries to show her the basic steps of teenage life; the Internet, films, books, cooking, drinking wine/beer and even how to make friends. In the back of my mind, Faith didn’t seem like herself when Laurel returned home and with Cat’s clever writing, I picked up on a few hints here and there. When the offers from television and publishers begin rolling in, the family agree to disagree on certain matters yet in the back of my mind, I had a sneaky feeling that Laurel was silently enjoying all the attention and never wanted it to die down.
“Things can start to get back to normal now that Laurel has settled in. Soon she won’t need me so much, and some time after that she won’t need me at all. And that will be a good thing. That’s what we’re all working towards – normality.”
About half way through the narrative, I wondered where Cat would take the plot but as Faith began to notice certain aspects of her older sister, it all fell into place and soon enough, she began to pay attention to the little voice in her head telling her what she knew all along. It was a brilliant concept, one which worked particularly well in this Young Adult book and a plotline which has more than likely happened in real life. Cat’s writing style is a firm favourite of mine and her stories always leave me wanting more.