The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

Published by Simon & Schuster (March 14, 2017)
352 pages, Kindle Edition
Advance reading copy provided by the publisher
Find on Goodreads
Amazon

In recent years, many resources have been allocated to the research of the way in which individuals respond to traumatic events. Not only are traumatic events problematic for those who are directly involved, but they are also responsible for affecting those who experience them peripherally; the innocent bystanders, so to speak. While there is much work to be done, one thing is certain: each individual experiences and processes these events in a very unique way; uncovering the various coping mechanisms, symptoms, etc., may prove as difficult as solving a complex puzzle.

There were winners and there were losers. There were people in big houses and people in small houses. There were people who drew X’s through entire sections of school forms and people who had a name for every box. There were people whom others spoke to with respect, and people who others looked past. There were people who had choices and people who did not. Why was this, again?

Meredith Oliver walks into a local restaurant, Deli Barn, to pick up a sandwich; she has inadvertently walked into a traumatic situation. Her middle school classmate, Lisa Bellow, will be kidnapped while she watches and she is paralyzed from doing anything to either prevent or gather any information about the incident.

The phone felt strange and bulky against her ear. Why did news so often come this way, plastic boxes pressed against our temples? Half the things that mattered in her life had come through this box. Why was she never where the thing was happening?

While this might be enough material upon which to craft an intriguing story, for author Susan Perabo, and readers of this stunning novel, this is only a small portion of what develops into the deeply moving, funny, relatable journey of not only Meredith and Lisa, but also their families, fellow students and community. The novel includes significant themes such as the power of sibling relationships, mortality, the challenges of motherhood, coming-of-age, forgiveness and, obviously, coping with trauma.

She took a deep breath. At the end of the breath she found something, something totally unexpected, something she hadn’t even been looking for, but there it was for the taking, like turning a blind corner and bumping smack into the one thing that could save you. Resolve.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Perabo’s work as an author of short stories (her collection Why They Run the Way They Do was one of my favorite reads in 2016), I felt a little anxious about this first published novel; my fears have been more than sufficiently assuaged. Her talent never ceases to amaze me and I will begin, again, to anxiously await the next work she shares.

With fascinating character development, enough wonder to keep the pages turning at a quick pace, and intelligent, carefully-crafted writing, The Fall of Lisa Bellow will surely land on my list of favorites this year and is already on my list of Best Books to Read on Spring Break 2017

2017 Germantown Half Marathon

2017 Germantown Half Marathon

I Just Wanted to See the Books

I Just Wanted to See the Books