Thursday, August 20, 2009

Book Review: The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

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The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As with many of the other reader reviews I just skimmed, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and the way the other wove in the suspense element with other artsy techniques that felt genuine and well thought out.

Abby, a San Francisco photographer, is the stepmother of six-year-old Emma, engaged to Jake. The main plot takes place at Ocean Beach in San Francisco, where during the first chapter, Emma disappears (in the fog, of course) when Abby looks away briefly to take a photo. The rest of the book focuses on trying to find Emma, while developing other relationships and how they are impacted, such as Abby and Jake's lives, references to cameras and photographic techniques, tied in with memory and how the mind works. In mysterious ways, yes.

The best thing about the book is the suspense and the way the author really keeps us interested, although we have barely met Emma. I truly had no idea how the book would end, which says a lot for the author. I also liked the physical descriptions and the sense of place in San Francisco, particularly since I recently moved here. I definitely felt that Abby was the most well developed character, and would have liked to have seen some of the other characters a bit more developed - it is clear they they are there to move the plot.

I particularly liked the end of the book when Abby travels ( I won't give away where!) on a hunch, it made me appreciate how brave she was. I really felt like rooting for her the entire way through the book, which made it such a great read.

Overall, an excellent read and I look forward to Richmond's new book that just came out this summer, "No One You Know." Has anyone read it yet?

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