Isaac believed in luck. But from Pete’s point of view, Isaac’s luck had all run out.When Pete McLean loses his father in the summer of 1962, his friend Isaac is one of the few people he can lean on. Though their worlds are as different as black and white, friendship knows no color. So when Isaac suddenly goes missing, Pete is determined to find out what happened—no matter what it costs him. His quest will lead him into parts of town that he knows only through rumors and introduce him to a girl who will change his life. What they discover together will change the small Southern town of Glory, Alabama—forever.
With vivid descriptions, palpable atmosphere, and unforgettable characters, debut novelist Valerie Fraser Luesse breathes life into the rural South of the 1960s—a place where ordinary people struggle to find their footing in a social landscape that is shifting beneath their feet.
“Valerie Fraser Luesse’s beautiful story reveals the human heart that always beats beneath the headlines. In the process, she movingly illuminates not only the spirit of a special region but the soul of every human being who ever dared to care. Missing Isaac will break—and then heal—your heart.”
—J. I. Baker, journalist and author of The Empty Glass
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Missing Isaac swallowed me whole! I was so taken with the story that it was hard to put down. The last two nights, I was up until 4:00 a.m. turning pages because I didn’t want to stop. That’s how much I enjoyed it!
What Makes Missing Isaac So Good?
I’ve struggled with putting my finger on what made this book so enjoyable to me.
Think of reading a story like driving a car. Most times, when I get behind the wheel, I’m only interested in getting from point A to point B. With Missing Isaac, I find myself driving down a country road, with so much contrasting beauty and disaster around me that I want to slow down, open the windows, and just savor the ride!
This story takes you back to a time before video games, before cell phones, before the “expectancy” that is so prevalent in today’s attitudes. Set in the rural south of 1960s America, it demonstrates how people of very different castes can live together. Missing Isaac speaks of profound friendships, innocent love – both found and lost, and romance that is not confined to a single generation, nor comprised of sex and heavy breathing. It resonates with the power of values and family.
The storyline behind Missing Isaac is very good, yet the story itself would not be so fabulously engaging without the craft behind it. I think even a mediocre author could make this story work, but the finesse of Valerie Fraser Luesse breathed life into these characters, and painted vivid colors over the settings.
There are stories out there that readers never forget. This is one of them.
If I had to be critical of one thing in Missing Isaac, I wouldn’t have anything to write.
I don’t recall any SPAG errors. Further, I consider the character arcs to be the epitome of character arcs!
I do wish a sequel was available, or at least in the works. It seems to me that at least two sequels could come from this. I would gladly buy them!
January 2-January 11, 2018
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One thought on “Missing Isaac”
Your review really makes me want to grab a copy and hole up for the weekend to read it! Thanks for the great post!