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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
In this highly anticipated novel, John Searles, senior books editor at Cosmopolitan, delivers a riveting page-turner loosely based on the true-life story of Gerri Santoro, whose tragic death in 1964 following a botched motel room abortion became the rallying point for the explosive pro-choice movement of the 1960s. Dripping with all-American symbolism, the gritty characters in Boy Still Missing bring to life the explosive issues of that chaotic decade through the lens of a camera sharply focused on one dysfunctional family.
In the desolate blue-collar town of Holedo, Massachusetts, Dominick Pindle spends his free time in one of two ways: obsessing on his newfound desire for girls or searching the local pubs for his alcoholic father. Dominick's mother -- his protector and angel - has set her attention solely on him and turned a blind eye to the more serious problems that exist with her husband. But after some conspicuously bad moves in his quest to make sense of life, the boy finds himself embroiled in a lustful game of "bait and switch" with Edie, his father's seductive mistress, keeping Dad's affair a secret from Mom.
Edie is an alluring and bruised older woman who seduces Dominick and uses him to escape Holedo. However, when their clandestine affair leads to a fatal accident, Dominick realizes that the parent he deceived has also concealed family secrets as passionate and destructive as his own. The realization that this knowledge could hold the key to his future, combined with the guilt that haunts him for betraying his mother, sends him on a mission for the truth. Dominick flees to New York, only to find more revelations about his family's shocking past. But the same reckless impulse that sends him searching for freedom may destroy him in the end. In fact, the only person who may be able to save him is Jeanny, a former hippie with powerful political ideas, who comes to care deeply for the troubled teen, acting as both lover and guardian.
Boy Still Missing is a compulsively readable novel that slyly opens the door on the consequences of poor judgment. Combining pathos, tragedy, and love, Searles suggests that fate can indeed herald peace of mind, despite our persistent efforts to find it on our own. Boy Still Missing announces the arrival of a major new voice on the stage of American literature and introduces an unforgettable new hero in Dominick, the troubled teen who may just be destined to stand alongside such legendary forebears as Holden Caulfield and Huckleberry Finn. (Lauren Foster)