cover image The Day That Went Missing

The Day That Went Missing

Richard Beard. Little, Brown, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-44538-2

Beard’s stunning memoir tells the tragic story of his family’s 1978 vacation and the subsequent 40 years he spent forgetting it. His memory from the day is fuzzy: he was 11 and his little brother, Nicky, was nine when they decided to play in the waves one last time before heading back to the cottage their family was renting in Cornwall, England. Nicholas drowned, and the rest is blank. His family never spoke about what happened—which he calls “an epic level of denial.” Now a novelist with kids of his own, Beard (Lazarus Is Dead) attempts to piece together what happened that day and hunt down all the artifacts left of his younger brother’s short life. Beard travels across England, visiting the important places from Nicky’s life and interviewing everyone who knew him—family members, school officials, the man who pulled him out of the water that terrible day. But the memories are fuzzy and, after years of silence, some have vanished entirely. By collecting all of Nicky’s school records, photographs, clothing, and stories, Beard reimagines the brother he lost. His beautifully written story is heartbreaking and unforgettable as he struggles with the grief he chose to forget and, now, attempts to remember again. [em](Nov.) [/em]