The fall of Lisa Bellow : [a novel] / Susan Perabo.

"What happens to the girl left behind? A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes t...

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Main Author: Perabo, Susan, 1969-
Published: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

Perabo's gripping second novel, following her story collection, Why They Run the Way They Do (2016), portrays a family in the aftermath of emotional and physical trauma. Thirteen-year-old Meredith Oliver navigates the typical insecurities of middle school, feeling particularly vulnerable to the social influence of the popular clique ruled by the attractive Lisa Bellows. One day after school, Meredith stops by a deli in which the other customer is none other than Lisa. Things take a disturbing turn when the shop is robbed and the perpetrator abducts Lisa but not Meredith. The tale unfolds from the perspectives of Meredith and her mother, Claire, as they deal with the event's complex fallout, including survivor's guilt. Meredith becomes increasingly distant, internalizing an alternate narrative of the kidnapping and unexpectedly connecting with a friend of Lisa's. Claire, meanwhile, cannot reconcile how to best communicate with her daughter as she internally mines her own culpability. Perabo captures both the unease and bravado of adolescence alongside the worries of parenthood and is unafraid to explore the family members' flaws as they attempt to emerge from chaos.--Strauss, Leah Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A middle-class suburban family, comfortable in a life that has provided them with "a lovely home and roomy van and a reliable second car," is the subject of the sharp and suspenseful novel from the author of The Broken Places. Parents Claire and Mark, who share a dental practice, have just begun to recover from a freak baseball-practice accident that has left their son, high school senior Evan, nearly blind in one eye when their daughter, 13-year-old Meredith, finds herself the victim of an armed robbery at a local deli. During the incident Meredith's classmate Lisa is kidnapped, while Meredith is left lying on the floor. Traumatized, over the next few months she retreats gradually into her own imaginary world. The novel's tension arises as much from Perabo's insight into a complex and changing family dynamic as from the horror of an unusual but believable situation. Perabo's female characters are particularly strong. Meredith's struggles to make sense of the middle-school social hierarchy parallel Claire's efforts to overcome her ambivalence about motherhood, and both are heightened by the attack and its aftermath. Survivor's guilt takes on a unique form here, as the novel plays with the reader's understanding of what is actually going on in Meredith's world. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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