Thursday, July 12, 2007

Year of Fog

by Michelle Richmond

Year of Fog is the story of Abbey Mason's search for her fiance's six year old daughter, Emma. Abbey was walking on the beach in San Francisco with Emma. She was distracted by a dead seal pup on the beach. When she looked up, Emma was gone.

The most powerful theme in this story, to me, is the complexity of the human heart, the other being the complexity of human relationships. Abbey was not Emma's mother, yet she felt a stronger bond to her than Emma's biological parent. Jake, Emma's father, loved his daughter more than life and it is this bond that determines the fate of his life with Abbey. Abbey feels she her future with Jake is doomed because she lost the one thing that was most precious to him.

As I read this story, I became increasingly frustrated with the slow delivery, which I am sure is what the author intended. Richmond wants you to feel the agony and impatience that the characters feel in the wake of a missing child. It just meant that I had to finish it and find out what happens. In the depths of my heart, I knew what had to happen in the end and it was very real. Yet somehow, Richmond doesn't leave the reader feeling despair, but the tiniest bit elated and hopeful.


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