The Fall of Lisa Bellow
What happens to the girl left behind?
A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith the girl left behind.
After Lisa’s abduction, Meredith spends most days in her room. As the community stages vigils and searches, Claire, Meredith’s mother, is torn between relief that her daughter is alive, and helplessness over her inability to protect or even comfort her child. Her daughter is here, but not.
This book came at a bad time for me. When I started reading the book I had just read a newspaper article of a friend that had gone missing. There were periods I could not bring myself to read this book. Then I would read it with the hope of solving the mystery just as I would hunt through the internet looking for new clues on the whereabouts of my missing friend.
The book revolves around the drama suffered by two of the main characters and how that drama effects everyone around them in different ways. The detail in the emotional trauma suffered by Meredith and her family was engaging and realistic. However, if you are wanting to read a mystery that is not the focus of this book. It is more of a family drama.
As a mom, it was disappointing that the writing makes it appear the whole family is against the mother. She cannot say anything right, everything is misconstrued. It is heartbreaking how she struggles to protect her family and maintain her marriage with so little support or success.
Personally, I did not like the ending. I needed more closure. I felt like it was a writing cop-out to leave the book “unfinished”.