The Year She Disappeared

Ann Harleman, Author . Univ. of Texas $24.95 (307p) ISBN 978-0-292-71747-3

This sophisticated damsel-in-distress tale from Harleman (Thoreau's Laundry ) stars sexy 60-year-old widow Nan Mulholland, who pops nitroglycerin and estrogen, and whose life suddenly lurches forward in 1998 when her only child makes a desperate request. Nan's daughter Alex believes that her powerful husband has been sexually abusing their four-year-old daughter, Jane; she begs Nan to take Jane out of Seattle and into hiding until Alex can gain temporary custody. Nan and Jane flee to Providence, where Nan's closest friend has recently moved, but they arrive to find the friend has died days before. That leaves Nan in an unfamiliar city with a faked identity, limited cash and responsibility for a preschooler, but Nan was married to a Foreign Service man and she's tenacious. She's also a perceptive, witty and self-involved protagonist, but she's repeatedly rescued by strangers which makes the plot hard to swallow. And while Harleman's wry humor and vivid descriptions are in play throughout, significant questions remain unanswered by the end of the novel's bumpy ride. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/14/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 978-0-292-73897-3
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