happens to a suburban community when a seventeen-year-old girl goes
missing right before she's supposed to leave for college? Are Linsey
Hart's neighbors more worried about her fate or about being exposed for
who they really are?
Mr. Leonard was the last person to see seventeen-year-old Linsey Hart before she vanished into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning. He was sitting on the black-lacquered piano bench in the bay window, practicing and singing, wordlessly, along with the Schumann Kinderscenen. The window was open only a crack, but Mr. Leonard could still detect the wormy smell of the sidewalk as the sun struck the puddles from last night's downpour. He held his fingers over the keys to listen to the silence between songs, the breath at the end of the poem lines. Mr. Leonard loved quiet as much as he loved sound.—When She Was Gone by Gwendolen Gross (Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books, 2013, p. 3)
- Setting: Sycamore Street, suburbia; life behind closed doors
- Circumstances: a teen goes missing; secrets revealed; neighborhood torn apart
- Characters: Linsey (seventeen and missing), Mr. Leonard (piano teacher), Abigail (Linsey's outcast mother), Reeva (neighborhood social director), Timmy (Lnsey's boyfriend), George (eleven-year-old neighborhood spy)
- Genre: contemporary, coming of age, community in crisis
- Themes: community; secrets; adultery; parenting; music
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