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The Year of Fogby Michelle Richmond
Synopses & Reviews
Life changes in an instant. On a foggy beach. In the seconds when Abby Mason—photographer, fiancée soon-to-be-stepmother—looks into her camera and commits her greatest error. Heartbreaking, uplifting, and beautifully told, here is the riveting tale of a family torn apart, of the search for the truth behind a childs disappearance, and of one womans unwavering faith in the redemptive power of love—all made startlingly fresh through Michelle Richmonds incandescent sensitivity and extraordinary insight.
Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco fog. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a strangers van, or a road with traffic flashing by. Devastated by guilt, haunted by her fears about becoming a stepmother, Abby refuses to believe that Emma is dead. And so she searches for clues about what happened that morning—and cannot stop the flood of memories reaching from her own childhood to illuminate that irreversible moment on the beach.
Now, as the days drag into weeks, as the police lose interest and fliers fade on telephone poles, Emmas father finds solace in religion and scientific probability—but Abby can only wander the beaches and city streets, attempting to recover the past and the little girl she lost. With her life at a crossroads, she will leave San Francisco for a country thousands of miles away. And there, by the side of another sea, on a journey that has led her to another man and into a strange subculture of wanderers and surfers, Abby will make the most astounding discovery of all—as the truth of Emmas disappearance unravels with stunning force.
A profoundly original novel of family, loss, and hope—of the choices we make and the choices made for us—The Year of Fog beguiles with the mysteries of time and memory even as it lays bare the deep and wondrous workings of the human heart. The result is a mesmerizing tour de force that will touch anyone who knows what it means to love a child.
"A mesmerizing novel of loss and grief, hope and redemption, and the endurance of love." Library Journal, starred review
"Richmond gracefully explores the nature of memory and perception in key passages that never slow the suspense of the search…a page-turner with a philosophical bent." Booklist
Grade: A. "Gripping…Richmond makes the reader feel the gamut of emotions, from the initial disbelief and blind hope to the nagging guilt and gnawing despair." Alexis Burling,The Washington Post
"Richmond's second novel is a startlingly original take on every parent's worst nightmare…An unsettling and powerful punch of a book, The Year of Fog unfolds as a waking dream about the persistence of memory and the extraordinary force of love." Cookie Magazine
"A good part of what makes "The Year of Fog" compulsively readable is the voice of its narrator. Abby's tone is quietly conversational, almost as though she is sitting across the table and, over a cup of coffee, calmly telling her tale. The dispassionate tone reveals a brutally honest teller, and only serves to heighten the tension of the story…both believable and bittersweet." Robin Vidimos, The Denver Post
"Much more than a tale of a woman looking for a child who's lost. It's also about the nature of passion, guilt, and most of all, memory…The Year of Fog also serves as a real-life guidebook of sorts to some of San Francisco's lesser known neighborhoods and sites…Richmond captures the spirit of life in The City." Leslie Katz, The San Francisco Examiner
"In The Year of Fog, Richmond gives us both a mystery and a meditation on memory. Profound, deeply moving, endlessly gripping; you will devour it in a weekend and turn it over to begin again." Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli
"From the very first chapter The Year of Fog grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go. Michelle Richmond is that marvelous thing, a writer who can craft a gorgeous sentence and also create a plot so propulsive that it hurts to put the book down, even for a minute. And forget about sleeping. You won't do that until you're finished." Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits
"Michelle Richmond's The Year of Fog is a harrowing and unputdownable novel. A moving account of one woman's ardous journey from an ordinary day to nightmare to, ultimately, redemption. Few novelists put their characters through harder paces than Richmond. And readers have no choice but to carried away by the enduring beauty of this story." Peter Orner, author of The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo & Esther Stories
Heartbreaking, uplifting, and beautifully told, this work is a riveting tale of how life can change in an instant and of one woman's faith in the redemptive power of love.
About the Author
Michelle Richmond is the author of the novel Dream of the Blue Room and a story collection which won the Associated Writing Programs Award. She is also the recipient of the 2006 Mississippi Review Prize. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Michelle lives with her husband and son in San Francisco, where she teaches creative writing and serves on the advisory board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. She is currently at work on her next novel, which Delacorte will publish in 2008.
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