The Fall of Lisa Bellow

The Fall of Lisa Bellow

Series: Families Are Complicated

This YA crossover is absorbing and strange and hard to put down. Meredith and Lisa, both 8th graders, have the misfortune to be in The Deli Barn during an armed robbery. Lisa is kidnapped; Meredith is left behind, which makes her incredibly lucky—but also unraveled and guilt-ridden and, weirdly, jealous. Why did the kidnapper choose the popular Lisa over her? What follows is a believable and utterly readable portrait of a suburban family's attempt to work through the near-miss, which, in addition to the situation at hand, also brings long-buried emotions involving marriage, baseball, and junior high drama to the surface. The teens are especially well-written. This book is weird; be prepared. Publication date: March 14.

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About the Book

Publisher’s description:
The breakout novel from the critically acclaimed author of the short story collections Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do—when a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.

What happens to the girl left behind?

A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith the girl left behind.

After Lisa’s abduction, Meredith spends most days in her room. As the community stages vigils and searches, Claire, Meredith’s mother, is torn between relief that her daughter is alive, and helplessness over her inability to protect or even comfort her child. Her daughter is here, but not.

Like Everything I Never Told You and Room, The Fall of Lisa Bellow is edgy and original, a hair-raising exploration of the ripple effects of an unthinkable crime. It is a dark, beautifully rendered, and gripping novel about coping, about coming-of-age, and about forgiveness. It is also a beautiful illustration of how one family, broken by tragedy, finds healing.

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