“How can I describe this place? It’s an in–between place. It’s like a grand hallway that leads you nowhere, it’s like a banquet dinner of left–overs, a sports team made up of the people never picked, a mother without her child, it’s a body without its heart. It’s almost there but not quite. It’s filled to the brim with personal items yet it’s empty because the people who own them aren’t here to love them.”
I first bought this book at a book fair, at the start of my high school years, for $3.50. I tried to read it but it just didn’t click with me. I was too young to understand and I didn’t want to force myself to read it. And so it lay, abandoned in a dusty corner of my bookshelf until I decided to pick it up and flip through it a week ago. I am now old enough to understand relationships, see through to the deeper meaning behind sentences and am able to experience the beautiful and intriguing joys and feelings of the book. So I read it.
The plot was about a girl, named Sandy, who ever since another girl disappeared from her neighbourhood, has become obsessed with finding things and working out where the missing things go. This obsession leads to falling out relationships and an unfulfilled life, not realising that while she was so desperately searching for the missing, she also lost herself as well. Years later, and running a missing persons agency, she gets lost and arrives in a place called ‘Here’. There she finds everything she has lost and all the missing people.
Along with this, there is also a side story of a guy whose brother is missing, and tries to contact Sandy, instead finding that the person who runs the missing persons agency is also, indeed, missing as well.
This bittersweet book is beautiful and I recommend it to everyone over the age of 13 years. It is not the best book, it might not be and might never be your favourite, but it is still worth reading as it will forever imprint itself in your memory.
“Sometimes, people can go missing right before our very eyes. Sometimes, people discover you, even though they’ve been looking at you all the entire time. Sometimes, we lose sight of ourselves when we’re not paying enough attention.
We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wonder further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it’s easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found.”
-Cecelia Adhern, A Place Called Here