Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Local News by Miriam Gershon

The Local News by Miriam Gershow
368 pages
Published February 2009 by Random House

First line of the book: “Going missing was the only interesting thing my brother had ever done.”

This is the story of Lydia Pasternak, whose brother has disappeared. Lydia has grown up in the shadow of Danny and, although they were close when they were younger, she hasn't been close to him in years. In the year following Danny's disappearance, Lydia's parents totally tune out to her. Her mother becomes obsessed with finding Danny, to the point where she forgets to buy groceries and almost forgets she has a daughter. But while she has disappeared at home, Lydia has become something of a celebrity at school. People that never had anything to do with her, suddenly want to be her friend and Lydia is so desperate for attention that she is willing to play along with them. The detective Lydia's parents hire to look for Danny also seems to have an unusual interest in Lydia.

Lisa, at Books On The Brain, loved the book. Her review is here: http://lisamm.wordpress.com/2009/06/23/review-the-local-news-by-miriam-gershow/#comment-7930.

I was not as crazy about it but I found this book to be a fascinating look at the disappearance of a child as told from an entirely different point of view. Gershow does a wonderful job channeling the voice of a teenager on an emotional rollercoaster and of exploring the relationship between the siblings. Lydia's interaction with the other teenagers was one of the strengths of the book. I didn't feel Lydia's relationship with the detective was as credible. I thought the last third of the book, where we see Lydia attending her 10-year class reunion, dragged on a bit but it was interesting to see how the events of ten years earlier had effected Lydia's ability to bond with other people.

Gershow, without any research on child abduction, was written a unique and unsentimental book on the subject.


  1. Sorry you didn't love this one - I've been looking forward to reading it.

  2. I'm glad to see that I wasn't the only one who didn't love The Local News. Thanks for your honest review!