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Book Review:  Missing You by Kylie Kaden

I requested this book from net galley because I recognised the author’s name and had heard good things about her first book, Losing Kate. I’m so pleased I was successful and given the opportunity to read and review Missing You. I seriously loved this book.

I must say the blurb is a little misleading. I was thinking it might be a family drama; a couple coping with their autistic child, lots of arguments and deep thoughts. And on some level, that is exactly how it starts out, but gradually the sense of all not being as it seems builds until I was so tense I sat up all night turning pages madly. I certainly wouldn’t class this as a romance. If I had to place the book into a genre, I’d say psychological thriller would be my pick.

We get three narrators, all offering their points of views in the first person: Aisha’s, her husband Ryan’s, and her father Patrick’s. Some chapters are flashbacks, and some are written in the present, but it isn’t difficult to follow.

I found Aisha and Patrick instantly likeable. The latter was so real to life and will remind a lot of readers of cantankerous old men they know, I’m sure. Unfortunately I was less sure of Ryan’s appeal or his trustworthiness. I wasn’t keen on his, typical though it may be, drinking habits or surfing lifestyle and therefore I didn’t warm to him as I did the other two narrators.

I’ve always had a fascination with twins, however, and when we were introduced to his brother, Luke, I was completely hooked.

The clever plot is revealed in layers, and I loved the way the most ordinary conversations and situations were suddenly sinister as the story unfolded. Kaden makes some very intelligent observations (again, especially with Patrick, I found) and her handling of showing the good and bad aspects of mental health seems effortless.

As a Queenslander, I adored the setting. For me, it almost became another character. I so enjoyed reading so many familiar places I’ve lived in or visited over the years.

If I had one gripe, it would be about the ending. I’m not saying the ending is abrupt or unresolved (like some other books I’ve read lately) but without spoiling, I suppose I’ll admit it was a little too tame for me. (The pacifist in me shrieks with horror.)

I highly recommend this book.

4.5 stars out of 5

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