A kidnapped girl returns home after six years.
Now 16, Amy MacArthur must readjust to life with her family while also coping with the space left by her cousin and best friend, Dee, who was also kidnapped. Although the white girl physically returns alone, Amy is accompanied by secrets she can’t reveal to anyone. She can’t divulge Dee’s whereabouts, the kidnapper’s identity, or where she’s been for the past six years; to do so will bring harm to two people who have become very precious to her: Dee’s children. Details of the girls’ abduction and isolation unfold slowly as introspective Amy gradually reveals the heartbreaking details of her escape and Dee’s fate. Amy’s narration moves back and forth in time, recounting her experiences both after her return and during her captivity. Although Amy is a sympathetic character, the tight focus of the text makes it hard to see how Dee changes from a fun-loving, talkative girl of 12 to an angry, empty shell of an 18-year-old. Lee, Dee’s sister, is unbelievably bubbly for a girl whose sister is still missing; she wants to take Amy shopping and partying. The villain of the piece, Kyle, the creepy, doll-worshipping rapist kidnapper, is downright scary—with a huge body, small head, and deceptively clownish smile, he is an overgrown toddler prone to tantrums and all the more terrifying for it.
An intelligent, tense psychological drama. (Fiction. 13-18)