Sunday, September 9, 2007


The Place Last Seen

Author: Charlotte Freeman

Pages: 292

Personal Rating: 3/5

From the back cover:

During an idyllic autumn-day hike in the Desolation Wilderness of the Sierra Nevadas, the Baker family is hurled into a nightmare. Playing hide-and-seek with her older brother, Luke, six-year-old Maggie runs away-and she cannot be found. Her father, Richard, and mother, Anne, search desperately before racing down the mountain to call in a Search and Rescue team. The team arrives with experienced trackers, volunteers, dogs, and topographic maps and begins a thorough search from the place where Maggie was last seen. But the search is complicated by an unpredictable factor: willful and energetic, Maggie baker is also a Down Syndrome child, and there is no telling how she will move as she wanders in the wilderness. Richard, Anne, and Luke can only wait and hope that she will leave a clue, a trail that will lead them to her.

The story is told from two viewpoints, the family and the search and rescue team as they look for Maggie. You never get a chance to personally “meet” Maggie as she is already lost when you begin the story but you get to know her from the emotions and descriptions from her family members. The story covers only a few days and not much happens (they look for Maggie). The focus is on the emotional nightmare that all the people involved face and how it comes at different people from different angles. I really disliked the mother and felt so sorry for the “big” brother (10 years old?). At times I wanted to strangle the mother myself and wondered how do search and rescue teams actually deal with people like her?

I also wondered how people can endure such stressful and terrible situations. How would I react if I was in that situation? I think until you’re there you will never truly know.

The 3/5 rating was given because it was a little slow and boring at times but still a very good read that I would recommend.

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