Almost every day, it seems, the media reports someone missing. Often that person’s picture is broadcast over the airwaves, accompanied by phone numbers to call authorities in case viewers have seen the person and may know his or her last whereabouts. When the person is found, the community is informed, the family is reunited with their loved one, and life returns to normal.
But what happens to the family whose missing member never turns up? To the husband who keeps wondering where his wife or child may be? To the mother whose heart is squeezed dry of hope? To the questions that remain unanswered: Dead? Alive? Kidnapped? Ran Away?
In Deborah Raney’s recent book The Face of the Earth, published by Howard Books, Mitch
Brannon is faced with the unknown whereabouts of his beloved wife Jill. A third grade teacher ready to begin a new school year, Jill leaves to attend a week-long school conference in another city while Mitch, a school principal, remains home preparing for his role as a school administrator.
At week’s end, and before leaving the conference, Jill calls, promising to pick up something for dinner on her way, and teases him about bringing a surprise. When Jill doesn’t arrive at the appointed time, Mitch is irritated. But when the day ends and there’s still so sign of Jill, Mitch’s irritation turns to dread. He seeks the help of their next door neighbor, Shelley, Jill’s best friend, and together they search for the missing woman.
In her usual style, Raney weaves a tale of love and devotion challenged by circumstances that threaten to tear a family apart when the unthinkable happens. Readers will despair with the husband, feel the angst of the worried children, and identify with the best friend who wonders how she will cope when no answers to the situation are forthcoming. A great story of commitment in the face of loss and faith in a time of tragedy, The Face of the Earth will keep your attention to the end.