The disappearance of her friend will send a Mennonite girl on a journey of discovery.
Every fall, Lucy looks forward to the arrival of her friend Alice. Alice is a snowbird, an Old Order Amish girl who journeys to Sarasota, Florida, every winter with her family. This year, though, Alice is different because she's on Rumspringa, a time when the Amish youth can sample life in the outside world. All she talks about is her boyfriend, and she has a cellphone. Alice's behavior reminds Lucy of the things she wants but can't have, such as going to college and studying the oceans. When Lucy leaves Alice at a party after an argument, she has no idea that Alice will disappear—and that it will happen while she’s kissing a shunned Old Order boy named Faron. The authorities don’t seem to be taking Alice’s disappearance seriously, and Lucy needs to know what happened to her friend. With Faron's help, she will put together clues based on both intellect and instinct until she learns what happened to Alice. The story is competently told, in plain, straightforward prose—befitting the subject matter and narrator Lucy’s character. Unsurprisingly, the cast is a largely white one. The author acknowledges her research in Amish and Mennonite communities.
The ending feels a bit pat and safe, yet this novel will still find readers. (Mystery. 14-17)