Title: The Missing Girl
Author: Jenny Quintana
Publication Date: 28th December 2017
Format: Paperback ARC
This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
When Anna Flores’ adored older sister goes missing as a teenager, Anna copes by disappearing too, just as soon as she can: running as far away from her family as possible, and eventually building a life for herself abroad.
Thirty years later, the death of her mother finally forces Anna to return home. Tasked with sorting through her mother’s possessions, she begins to confront not just her mother’s death, but also the huge hole Gabriella’s disappearance left in her life – and finds herself asking a question she’s not allowed herself to ask for years: what really happened to her sister?
What I Thought:
Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Jenny Quintana’s debut novel The Missing Girl. The ARC dropped through my letter box last year and I was intrigued by the blurb and when I picked it up it certainly didn’t disappoint!
When Anna’s mother dies Anna is forced to return from Greece to the small village where she grew up, the village were her older sister went missing. Keen to get through the funeral and get back to Greece she finds herself drawn back into the mystery of her sister’s disappearance. Now thirty years later will she finally get the answers she’s looking for and find out what happened to her sister?
I was sucked into this one right from the beginning! Jenny Quintana uses a dual narrative to tell the story, with the chapters alternating between the present day and 1982, the year Gabriella went missing. For me this was a plot device that really worked well, following Anna’s journey in the present as she dealt with the death of her mother as well as seeing the past through her eyes and trying to work out what happened happened to Gabriella all those years ago.
For this reason I was particularly intrigued by the chapters set in the past. I spent my time trying to pick up on any little clues that Jenny may have been leaving, anything that had happened in the period leading up to her disappearance that might have explained what had happened to Gabriella. She was a teenager when she vanished, moving into a rebellious phase, had something terrible happened to her? Had she run away from something, or did she just run off with a boy her parents wouldn’t have approved of?
That’s not to say the present chapters weren’t also enjoyable! Moving further through the story I could begin to put things together, something that had happened in the past suddenly making sense after Anna came across something in the present, that’s not to say that occasionally I didn’t add two and two together and end up with five!
I really liked Anna, and with her being the centre of the story it was crucial! I really felt for her as a child as her sister pulled away from her and things she didn’t understand began to happen, her desperation to find her sister. As an adult I completely understood her reluctance to return home, having spent so long escaping simply being the missing girl’s sister, as well as wanting to avoid all the memories that being back in her childhood home would bring.
There are a lot of other characters in the story, Anna’s parents are prevalent in the past chapters, but have both passed away by the time the present day chapters take place. Rita, a friend of Anna’s mother can be found in both the past and present chapters, I spent a fair amount of time going back and forth about how I felt about Rita, unable to decide if I felt she was a little too interfering or just a good friend to Esther. I also could decide whether I felt sorry for Martha, or if she was just a little creepy, I suspect that was coloured by Anna’s interpretation of her as a child.
Would I Recommend?
I thought this was a fantastic debut from Jenny Quintana, I’d definitely recommend it to any mystery fans out there. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for whatever comes next from Jenny.
The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana is out now, published by Mantle in hardback and priced at £14.99.
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up? Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour below!