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Still Missing [Paperback]

Beth Gutcheon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: £14.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd (22 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903155789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903155783
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The New York Times's reviewer wrote: 'Love is hard enough to write about, but a parent's love for a child is almost inexpressible in its universality and in the uneventfulness of its nature under ordinary circumstances. When Alex disappears, Susan, his mother, doesn't just lose a little boy. She loses the most essential part of herself, a piece of her own person-hood; without Alex she has no purpose and no future. Perhaps this can only be understood through a child's absence - an unnatural cessation like a stopped heart. Given the novel's painful beginning I wondered how Miss Gutcheon could keep up such an intense emotional pitch. But keep it up she does, and, most impressively, without ever letting Susan slip from our sympathies by believing too much or too little in the likelihood of Alex's reappearance. She keeps believing, without caring what anybody else thinks, simply because nothing else is possible to her. 'Susan is strong and warm, the mother we all wish we had or could be. Her friends, relatives and ex-husband, Graham, Alex's father, show their true natures - some not so pleasant - as grief isolates and distorts her. Susan, obsessed, listens to every psychic, subjects her friends to lie-detector tests and embraces the media ­television crews camp outside her Boston house - with the clear tunnel vision of the mad: never mind that she is being exploited, because somewhere some reader or viewer might help her find her son. 'Desperate to find him, his mother begins a vigil that lasts for days, then weeks, then months. She is treated first as a tragic figure, then as a grief-crazed hysteric, then as an unpleasant reminder of the bad fortune that can befall us all. Against all hope, despite false leads and the desertions of her friends and allies, she believes with all her heart that somehow, somewhere, Alex will be found alive.'

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First Sentence
You could hardly get to age thirty-four without learning something about loss. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic story of waiting and wondering. 22 Oct 1998
By A Customer
STILL MISSING is one of the greatest books Iv'e ever read. The wondering and waiting of this story keeps you flipping through the pages, wanting to find out what is going to happen next. The books kicks off with suspense as the seven year old boy never comes home from school one day.Then they suspect their gay housekeeper of molesting and killing their son. I feel this story,was much like watching a missing child report uncover on the news for months, but with out the long wait unless you are a slow reader.If you like reading suspense novels, than you will love. "Still Missing" by Beth Gutcheon.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This is a story of hope, loss, and faith, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. It is the story of a mother's belief that her six year old son, who was abducted while on his way to school, is alive somewhere and just still missing.
Harvard University professor Susan Selky, seperated from her husband, Graham, lets her six year old son, Alex, walk the several blocks to his school all by himself. One morning she says good bye to him, not realizing until later in the day when he does not return home after school, that he simply never made it to school that morning.
The police are notified and an immediate manhunt ensues for the missing boy. The story follows the impact that the boy's disappearance has on Susan and Graham, as well as the reaction of those closest to them and of the public at large. It explores their relationship, as well as their relationship with others in the context of the tragedy which has befallen them. You definitely feel her pain.
Sensitively drawn and well written, the books explores the avenues that Susan travels in her steadfast search for her son. Eventually, her gay housekeeper is arrested and charged with her son's kidnapping and murder on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence, never mind that a body was never found.
The arrest, engendered in part by homophobia on the part of the police and the public, does not quite ring true to Susan's mind. At the housekeeper's request, she meets with him and comes away from the meeting believing him to be innocent and that her son is simply still missing.
What happens next is sure to keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat. The author plays on the reader's emotions and keeps the tension taut throughout the story, making for a real pager turner of a book. The suspense is kept up until the very end, where it boils over into a crescendo of a finale. This is, without a doubt, one of the best suspense novels to be found.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Read! 4 Jun 1998
By A Customer
I loved this book. I was leary of the subject matter but I have read three of Ms. Gutcheon's books and have enjoyed all of them enormously. This was the best of the lot.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 25 Jan 2010
Gripping and intelligently written story of a missing child told without the sentimentality that you might expect from an American author. Beth Gutcheon keeps you on the edge of your seat up to the last chapter, so what a shame about the whopping spoiler in one earlier review.
Six year old Alex Selky disappears on his short walk to school and his mother's desperation as hours turn to days then weeks is told almost in 'real time.' But then the rest of the world starts to move on; even the boy's father accepts that he must be murdered. His mother cannot give up hope ...
But the child's disappearance reverberates through other lives ... and one of the most shocking things about this book is that it makes you realise that, living in a city, how little we really know about our friends and neighbours. Highly recommended. Very different from what we have come to expect from Persephone books, however, and some Persephone fans will be shocked as this is no way a nice, comfortable old-fashioned read. It reads exactly the way it would feel if your own child didn't come home from school this afternoon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written, emotive page turner 22 April 2010
Susan Selky is a Harvard English professor, living comfortably in Boston's Back Bay neighbourhood with her almost seven year old son Alex. Recently separated from her husband, she is just an ordinary modern mother busy juggling the various demands of everyday life. One sunny summer's morning, Susan watches Alex walk to the corner of the street, from where he has a five minute walk to school. Later that day when he fails to return, she realises that he never arrived at school at all, and her nightmare begins as she becomes the mother of a missing child. As hours turn to days, days to weeks and weeks to months, Susan finds herself stuck in limbo, hopeful that her son is still alive, but surrounded by people, including her own husband, who have given up and now resent her for her inability to 'move on'. But Susan's heart tells her that her son is still alive, somewhere, and she will keep on hoping, against all the odds.

This is an emotional, powerful and gripping read about the unravelling of one ordinary woman's life. It is so much more than just the story of a missing boy, and Gutcheon's insights into relationships and grief and the true nature of people's hearts is what makes this such a superb novel, with characters so realistically portrayed that you can't help but feel intimately involved with the story. It's yet another excellent addition to the Persephone catalogue and has many similarities, in its insights into human nature, to Dorothy Whipple's novels.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant. We are doing this for my Book Club
Absolutely brilliant. We are doing this for my Book Club. I was on the edge of my seat. It was not just a detective story - it was a good human story.
Published 13 days ago by Fenella Fay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 2 months ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsive
I read this for the first time when it was published in 1981 and I obsessively tracked down the film. I now have it on my kindle. Read more
Published 7 months ago by B
5.0 out of 5 stars good service but at what cost/
WAS SURPRISED to receive an excellent copy of the book which had only been loaned by a library once.. hope this means that libraries are not selling off all their stock! Read more
Published 14 months ago by Diana Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Missing
Susan Selky has other things on her mind when she waves her six year old son, Alex, off to school. She has recently separated from her husband, Graham, and she is thinking of her... Read more
Published 15 months ago by S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Still missing
Enjoyed this novel. Well worth reading. I would recommend it. It is the sort if novel you can read in one sitting as you want to know the outcome.
Published 18 months ago by Blue Cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Page turning
This really is one you won't be able to put down. Beth Gutcheon manages to bind you deep in this compelling story and doesn't let you go until the last page. Read more
Published 23 months ago by J R Hawes
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book
Alex Selky, going on seven, kisses his mother goodbye and sets off for his school that's only two blocks away. He never gets there. Read more
Published on 23 Oct 2012 by Bakey
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting read
This was a real page-turner but also, a sensitive and intelligent read. The main character, Susan Selky, is skilfully portrayed by the author at each stage of her loss. Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by Reddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Every parent's nightmare.....
Wow, what an amazing book!

It begins with every parent's nightmare - a child goes missing. Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Wynne Kelly
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