This is a book where the description I heard of it ages ago–it’s about a girl who disappeared 20 years ago when she was 16 and she returns to her family thinking only six months have passed–is exactly true and yet so inadequate to the task of telling you what the book is about that I didn’t recognize it as that book.
This book suffers from a strange problem in that all of it is good, but parts of it are so brilliant that it makes the good parts seem kind of “eh” by comparison. The whole part with the missing chick’s nephew and his old-lady-next-door-neighbor and her cat that he accidentally kills is just one of the most amazing things I’ve ever read. Which made the whole “and so why would this character, who spent the whole book chasing this character, suddenly be flirting with this other character?” thing really stand out. Whereas I’m not sure it would have bothered me in a lesser book.
And Joyce (the author) does a really brilliant things with the epigrams on the chapters , that are just kind of a subtle way of increasing the tension and giving you backstory without intruding on this really tight narrative.
So, I liked it, but I felt bad for the main character because she never got laid. The old lady did, though.