I bought Chevy Stevens’ novel Still Missing after I read a review of it on another blog because it sounded like a book I’d totally love. Annie O’Sullivan is 32 years old and selling a house for work when she is abducted. She spends a year in the wilderness with her captor until she finds freedom again. Still Missing alternates between her healing now as a free woman and her time in captivity.
This book reminded me a lot of Room – young woman held in captivity, forced to have sex with her captor, and so on. And unfortunately, the number one thing that drove me crazy about Room is what drove me crazy about Still Missing: the main character’s voice. It just. didn’t. work. Actually, that is not entirely true. I thought Annie’s voice when she was in captivity was perfect. She sounded scared and intelligent at the same time, and as time elapsed and she was still in captivity, her descent as she started to lose her sense of self was evidence, too.
But when she was in her therapist’s chair? She was a different character entirely. Of course you can argue that someone who’s been in captivity against his or her will for any amount of time is a different character, and I’d agree. But the way she spoke… she went from intelligent real estate agent to Southern trailer park dweller. The change was TOO drastic. It was like there was Annie before was one character and someone who wasn’t Annie ever sitting in that chair, and I found it hard to sympathize with her because of that voice.
That’s my overall take: Annie is a very had character for one to have empathy toward. What happened to hear should be devastating, but the way Stevens makes her out, it’s pretty hard to look at her as a character and want to help her. This was a big bummer for me because I love the concept of this book and if done right, think it has awesome potential to be a really moving novel.
Overall rating: 5/10