Friday, 2 February 2018

Review: The Missing Girl by Jenny Quintana


THE MISSING GIRL BY JENNY QUINTANA
2018  Mantle  336

In the unseasonably warm autumn of 1982, fifteen-year-old Gabriella Flores goes missing. Her younger sister Anna is torn up by her sister’s disappearance and for the next thirty years, no one knows what happened to Gabriella. Decades later, Anna has built a life for herself in Athens and has tried to put the past behind her. But the sudden death of her mother forces Anna to return to her childhood home and the village where she and her sister grew up. Being the only Flores left in her family she is left to sort through her mother’s possessions, and having to reconnect with her past makes Anna question something she hasn’t dared think about in years – what happened to Gabriella?

If I were to describe Jenny Quintana’s The Missing Girl, I would define it as a quiet, family focused drama. There are few characters and the story takes place in a village where everyone is known to each other. It’s not a fast-paced thriller but it definitely has that ability of keeping you hooked which is essential for a good page turner. For me, this book was a breath of fresh air. I wasn’t really expecting to be so absorbed in to the story, but after reading just the first few pages I knew this was going to be a book I would enjoy spending time with. Quintana’s writing style is effortless and eloquent, and it helps to set the quiet tone of the novel perfectly. If this is her debut, then I’m interested to see what’s she’s going to come up with next.

If slow burning, mystery stories are something you enjoy then this is a great one to check out. I like fast paced, twisty plots as much as any lover of thriller fiction but The Missing Girl is different. Although both books are very different, I was reminded of Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble With Goats and Sheep as I was reading it, so if you enjoy Cannon’s work then I think Quintana’s prose will keep you engaged. The story’s narrative shifts from 1982 to the present day thirty years later, with alternating chapters both narrated by Anna in the first person. The past and present style added layers to the story which really helped to set up the mystery, and the chapters set in the 80’s had a quaint nostalgic feel.

It’s not a complex story, but that’s what I enjoyed about it. It was part coming-of-age, part family drama, part mystery, and collectively it made for the ideal cosy read for the winter months.

Overall rating: 4 stars

If you'd like to check out my other reviews you can find them here. Until next time: happy reading, fellow booklovers.


My arc copy of The Missing Girl was sent to me by The Bookbag and my review originally appeared on their website.

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