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The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoirby Cylin Busby
Synopses & Reviews
The extraordinary true story of a family, a brutal shooting, and the year that would change their lives forever.
When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she was obsessed with Izod clothing, the Muppets, and her pet box turtle. Then, in the space of a night, everything changed. Her police officer father, John, was driving to work when someone leveled a shotgun at his window. The blasts that followed left Johns jaw on the passenger seat of his car—literally. Overnight, the Busbys went from being the "family next door" to one under 24-hour armed guard, with police escorts to school, and no contact with friends. Worse, the shooter was still on the loose, and it seemed only a matter of time before hed come after John—or someone else in the family—again. With their lives unraveling around them, and few choices remaining for a future that could ever be secure, the Busby family left everything and everyone they had ever known…and simply disappeared.
As told by both father and daughter, this is a harrowing, and at times heartbreaking account of a shooting and its aftermath, even as it shows a young girl trying to make sense of the unthinkable, and the triumph of a familys bravery in the face of crisis.
"No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad. In 1979, in an underworld-style hit, a gunman shot John Busby, a policeman in Cape Cod; a fluke saved John's life, but he was permanently disfigured and disabled, and the family placed under 24-hour protection. Eventually the family went into hiding in Tennessee, but arguably their 'disappearance' takes place long before they move — as John and his daughter, Cylin, alternately narrate, readers can see how the shooting erased the family's sense of themselves. John is consumed with anger at the police's refusal to pursue the likeliest suspects ('and [I] planned to stay angry until I got back at the bastards who did this to me'); Cylin, then nine, is baffled as she and her two older brothers attract unwelcome attention ('Everyone thinks your dad is going to die,' a cousin tells her. 'But you're lucky — you don't have to go to school') and are later forsaken as classmates' parents deem friendship with them too risky. Where John's chapters provide the grim facts, it is Cylin's authentically childlike perspective that, in revealing the cost to her innocence, renders the tragic experience most searingly. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With their lives unraveling around them, the Busby family left everything and everyone they had ever known--and simply disappeared. As told by both father and daughter, this is a harrowing true story of a family, a brutal shooting, and the year that would change their lives forever.
About the Author
CYLIN BUSBY is the author of several nonfiction articles as well as several fiction books for young readers. She is the former senior editor of Teen magazine and the author of numerous magazine articles. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and young son.
JOHN BUSBY is retired and lives with his wife of over forty years, Polly Busby. He continues to fight for the extension of the statute of limitations on assault of a police officer.
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