Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
Mila and her father are on their way from London to New York to see her father’s best friend, Matthew. They had not seen each other for many years. A phone call from Matthew’s wife alerts them to the fact that he has disappeared. They decide to go anyway, and show up at the house to see if they can help.
Mila is a rather unusual girl who deeply notices her surroundings. She sees the picture frame and notices the stance people take and where their arms are placed; she sees the shoes in the corner, not cleaned in years since their son’s death; she notices the items left un-dusted and ponders the reasons why.
Mila uncovers the love, loss, and deception felt deeply by each of the characters, eventually facing each of these herself. The relationships of all the other characters weave through the novel in a delightful way.
Mila also texts her best friend in London, whose parents are going through a divorce, and whose relationship with Mila has been a little shaky and distant: very similar to Mila’s father’s relationship to Matthew.
The lack of punctuation is disconcerting. Rather than enhance the story or character development, it serves to disorient the reader. Perhaps that was intended.
Recommended 10 up.