The News Tribune logo

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Year of Fog

I’m a sucker for a happy ending which probably accounts for my love of Jane Austen, but life doesn’t always hand us happy endings and the nit and grit of people living real lives can be compelling. Not everything ends tied up in a neat bow. That was certainly the case with Michelle Richmond’s The Year of Fog which I completed reading this week.

In the novel The Year of Fog, Abby Mason had been on the verge of her own happily-ever-after when the six-year-old daughter of her ideal fiancé disappears off a San Francisco beach while in her care.

“Here is the truth, this is what I know: I was walking on the beach with Emma. It was cold and very foggy. She let go of my hand. I stopped to photograph a baby seal, then glanced up toward the Great Highway. When I looked back, Emma was gone.” (Richmond)

The Year of Fog examines how a moment in time can change the course of lives and how the power of love can surmount seemingly impossible odds. The story of Abby’s search for Emma is riveting and heartbreaking all at once. Anyone who has ever for a moment misplaced a child knows the heart thudding panic as the waking nightmare specter of what can happen to children at the hands of evil or in an ocean plays out in the mind. I lost my own son on a foggy beach and although he was 12 the panic I felt racing up and down the beach calling his name, the thoughts going through my mind as I searched frantically for him, Richmond nailed when describing Abby’s desperate search for Emma. Fortunately my search only lasted a few minutes. Anyone who has ever loved a child or just likes a good mystery could not fail to be compelled by this riveting novel.


JosephMcG said...

A great post... touched the heart when you named that scared feeling so many of us have when the child we love disappears... then brought us closer to our common truth by sharing your experience, and then gave us absolutely nothing about how the novel resolved... happy ending... no, but what was the ending (are you smiling now)... great writing and you just know how to catch my attention... you do, you do

Stephanie Frieze said...

Thanks, Joseph. I didn't want to give away the ending. I'm one of those people who tries to figure out who done it before the first commercial on murder mystery shows, but this novel kept me changing my mind and turning pages right to the bitter end. We zoomed down to Ilwaco because my mother was hospitalized on Monday. I stayed at the hospital until 11:30 at night and then came home and read until 1 AM because I wanted to know how it ended. I fooled myself and finally had to go to sleep, but was up with the birds to finish the next day.

My mother is recovering, but will need rehab so I'm having her brought to Manor Care in Gig Harbor where I can keep a better eye on her. This week is a whole other blog. :-)