Cemetery Girl

Cemetery Girl was a fluke grab at the Penguin Putnam Warehouse Sale last year... I remembering power-shopping the last aisle and saw the cover, thought it was cool, and snagged it. I didn't even read the back. I figured the cover drew me in and it was $1 so no biggie.
It sat collecting dust on my TBR shelf until last week when I grabbed it from my TBR, simply because it was on the top. My energy was low and I didn't feel like pouring over the shelf and choosing wisely. Now let me say that TWICE I just picked it up for the hell of it- when I bought it and last week when I decided to read it. Totally not me.. picking a book is always something I think about... but now I'm thinking that maybe I should do that more often because simply stated- I loved this book. Let me share my thoughts....

Four years after Tom and Abby's 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover.

Cemetery Girl by David Bell starts off with an explosion of emotional pull... Tom & Abby have lost their little girl Caitlin and fear the worst as their search for their daughter (and closure) wears on. Four years as she is still missing. Then a break in the case and Caitlin shows up. Silent and detached. She gives no indication of what happened or where she has been, but Tom feels he knows. No longer searching for Caitlin, Tom becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind his missing daughters last four years. The question is- will Tom's obsession with the truth help him find peace or drive him insane?

I was sucked into this book immediately. The story was haunting and just like Tom became obsessed with the answers, so did I. I turned each page just waiting to hear the next morsel of information about Caitlin and her disappearance. Instantly I was drawn to Tom- his hunger for the truth was compelling.. and just as instantaneously, I couldn't stand his wife Abby. I didn't like what she represented and I felt like she wasn't a mother. Abby gave up and I couldn't come to terms with that. The entire family dynamic was interesting because this novel placed the reader smack in the middle of mom and dad- you had to choose a side. Reading Cemetery Girl and not picking a side (at least a little bit!) is impossible. Bell also developed Caitlin in an interesting way- she was a precarious kid and then returned home as a sullen teenager. Is it because of what happened to her or because she is a teenager? We aren't exactly sure.

The overall story line was haunting. The entire idea of your child going missing is terrifying... but after reading this, the prospect of that child returning is ALSO scary. What happened in those years you missed with your child, do you ever really want to know, will your child ever be the same? Those questions arose in Cemetery Girl and it certainly gave me pause.
Bell constructed a haunting tale that kept me mesmerized  I did not want to put the book down, but there were moments when I was also sick with pain for the characters. Cemetery Girl deals with a tough subject in a page turning and compelling fashion. I highly recommend this book.

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

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