Saturday, July 26, 2014

DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown

A marriage and family therapist Holly Brown undoubtedly well knows the dynamics involved in a family in crisis.  And what is more critical for parents than to find a message on their kitchen whiteboard written by their daughter beginning “Don’t try to find me.”?

Newcomers to a farm in a rural part of California Rachel, Paul and their 14-year-old daughter, Marley, left San Francisco for what they hoped would be a better life for all.  Now, Marley is gone; she did not attend school at all that day.  Initially Rachel believes her daughter has been abducted; it is unthinkable to her that Marley could have run away.  Paul, on the other hand, believes she just took off.  Upon discovering the rather limited means of the police to look for Marley he launches a full-scale campaign to find her.  With the aid of a publicist he does everything in his power to keep her disappearance in the public eye - social media, flyers, public appearances.

Rachel becomes more and more withdrawn, struggling with a secret she feels she must keep.  Eventually, the tide of public opinion turns against her.  There are whispers, folks wondering if she had anything to do with Marley’s disappearance.  Could she have hurt her own daughter?  Truly, Rachel is quite self-centered and slightly paranoid - she’s a difficult person to like.

As the story is related by the voices of Marley and Rachel readers learn the reasons for the girl leaving, and are privy to Rachel’s confused thoughts and actions.  A dysfunctional family?  Yes, indeed, but an intriguing mystery.

- Gail Cooke

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