Faith’s big sister, Laurel, was kidnapped when Laurel was 6 and Faith was 4, and now, 13 years later, she has been found.
Faith and her family, all white, are certain that the 19-year old woman really is Laurel. She has memories that only Laurel could have. Laurel had been held captive by a man who imprisoned her in his basement and abused her yet also tried to give her a rudimentary education. As might be expected, Laurel has some difficulty coping with her newfound freedom and fitting in with the family. She sometimes hides under a desk, blocking off the rest of the room. Yet she also tosses away the beloved teddy bear that she had clung to when she was kidnapped and kept all those years, and Faith notices Laurel sneaking off. Meanwhile, Laurel adamantly refuses to take a DNA test required by the police. By the time Laurel tells Faith all, readers may have guessed some of it but probably not all. Clarke keeps the story moving along through Faith’s present-tense account, balancing understandable jealousy of the attention lavished on Laurel while trying to cope with her own boyfriend and with Laurel’s fame. The narrative never details the abuse Laurel suffered but provides enough about her imprisonment to heighten the question of what really happened.
An intriguing story from start to finish. (Mystery. 14-18)