ARC received from publisher via NetGalley
(from the publisher)
A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial—like podcast following the clues she’s left behind.
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
Sadie feels like a kick to the gut. That is, if you also found that kick to be achingly beautiful and repeatable. It’s a bleak book, following almost exclusively miserable characters. And it’s so good.
For all that Sadie’s world (and family) has crumbled around her, the book explores family and community a lot. What do we know about each other? What are the stories we tell to hide what we know? How far will we go for the people we love?
The podcast element is brilliant and well-executed. As a fan of “Serial” and many WNYC podcasts, I could easily hear West’s episodes playing in my head as I read them. It’s a fascinating effect to see in a book.
At one point, West makes a statement that sums up a lot of the book:
Because I can’t take another dead girl.
In a world where women and girls are killed for “honor,” killed for saying no, killed just because they dared to be alone outside, Sadie is a call to action. We can’t take another dead girl. What do we need to change to make this stop?
Sadie releases today (September 4)! Find it in your favorite local store, request it at your library, or order online. If you read it, leave reviews for it! And let me know what you think down below. 🙂