Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
The residents of Ridgedale have woken up to a startling news story. A body has been found by the Ellis Bridge, near the woods where students go to party and adjacent to the local college campus. As the story unfolds, it becomes more shocking. The body is a baby, probably a newborn, although the police aren't releasing much information. The town, which prides itself on its low crime rate and great educational opportunities, becomes a beehive of rumors.
Is this another sad case of a teenager who has delivered a baby her parents don't know about and an attempt to hide the result? Is it the case of a mother and baby who have been killed and the mother's body is yet to be discovered? Is it related to the town's last criminal death which happened eighteen years before in the same location and was written off as the result of teenage partying and a drunken accident?
The residents react differently, depending on their backgrounds. Molly is a new reporter, starting over in a new career and town after she and her husband's second baby is stillborn. Brenda is the queen bee, with the perfect family and married to the police chief. Her daughter Hannah is also a perfect teenager, who spends her spare time tutoring. One of her assignments is Sandy, who has dropped out of high school to get a job. Sandy's mom, Jenna, is the girl everyone talked about in high school. She has brought Sandy back to Ridgedale where she hopes they can get out of poverty. When the Wall Street finance firms cut back and Stella lost her job and shortly thereafter her husband, she decided to get out of the workforce and try a life of stay-at-home mom.
The story is assigned to Molly. As she digs into the assignment, she starts to uncover secrets that the town and the individuals involved hoped would never surface. The baby's death serves as a lens that highlights all the things swept under rugs and relegated to whispers. Can Molly find out whose baby was left in the woods, and does the town want her to?
Kimberly McCreight has written a book that uses a crime to explore the way women live their lives. Some are career women, some are housewives. Some are happily married, some divorced and some floating from man to man. Each must find a way to live in the town society, which likes to highlight positive things and hide negative ones deeply under the surface. This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.