Review copy from Publishers
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
About the Book:
There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse’s stunning debut, Missing Isaac.
It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople’s reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it’s all over, Pete–and the people he loves most–will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.
Set in the south, “Missing Isaac” gave a very interesting look into life during the 1960’s, in a town where both rich and poor, black and white, consisted. What first drew me to this debut novel was the time period – I don’t see a lot of Christian fiction set during the 1960’s, so that immediately caught my attention along with the fact that I’ve been looking for more CF set during this time. :) However, this was primarily a southern 1960’s view and what they had to go through, not so much the 1960’s that first comes to mind.
The story follows Pete, who starts out as a young boy who just lost his father in a tragic accident. One of his father’s workers, Isaac, becomes the father-figure Pete looks up to and learns from, deepening their bond of friendship, but then Isaac goes missing, leaving Pete to grieve again.
The title of the book is a little deceiving in the way that the story doesn’t focus entirely on the title’s name. It’s included, but I didn’t feel like it was the main focal point.
There was a thread of mystery as we waited to find out what happened to Isaac, and it was good to see it concluded in the end, but overall the storyline was about Pete McLean. Having said that, the storyline of Pete was good and interesting. I enjoyed it.
I loved the character Dovey, and especially Pete and Dovey’s relationship throughout the book – that was absolutely touching and endearing.
I also liked that it was realistic. And that Pete’s family were honest that life is hard, but we learn from our trials, and honor God through them.
It was a good and enjoyable debut book. :)