Missing Isaac

Missing Isaac

by Valerie Fraser Luesse
4.5 22


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Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

There was another South in the 1960s, one far removed from the marches and bombings and turmoil in the streets that were broadcast on the evening news. It was a place of inner turmoil, where ordinary people struggled to right themselves on a social landscape that was dramatically shifting beneath their feet. This is the world of Valerie Fraser Luesse's stunning debut, Missing Isaac.

It is 1965 when black field hand Isaac Reynolds goes missing from the tiny, unassuming town of Glory, Alabama. The townspeople's reactions range from concern to indifference, but one boy will stop at nothing to find out what happened to his unlikely friend. White, wealthy, and fatherless, young Pete McLean has nothing to gain and everything to lose in his relentless search for Isaac. In the process, he will discover much more than he bargained for. Before it's all over, Pete—and the people he loves most—will have to blur the hard lines of race, class, and religion. And what they discover about themselves may change some of them forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800728786
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 254,581
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently a senior travel editor. Her work has been anthologized in the audio collection Southern Voices and in A Glimpse of Heaven, an essay collection featuring works by C. S. Lewis, Randy Alcorn, John Wesley, and others. As a freelance writer and editor, she was the lead writer for Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Luesse earned her bachelor's degree in English at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and her master's degree in English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She grew up in Harpersville, Alabama, a rural community in Shelby County, and now lives in Birmingham.

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Missing Isaac 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
lolly-pops 23 days ago
I'm going to be honest here, which, of course, is what you're supposed to be with reviews. MISSING ISAAC is not a book I would've ever picked up to read. In fact, I was dismayed when it showed up in my mailbox because it is not a book I wanted to read. This book is a historical - to me, although I am not sure it would be considered one by the industry professionals, simply because it is set before my time. It starts with the mandatory historical book death, but moves on to an unlikely friendship between a young eleven year old boy and thirty year old man, and a mixing of black and white. Which in the sixties was pretty much a very touchy subject. Never the twain shall meet, type thing. Okay, so while I wouldn't have picked this book up on my own, I did start reading it, and wow, I can see why the publisher bought it. This is a topic that established authors would shy away from, and yet this brave debut author beat the odds with a book that some would consider a "hard-sell." And because it is so awesomely written, even if the editor didn't like the topic (and I don't know if he or she did or not) they, if they are anything like me, was hooked. Sold. Yep, I would've bought this if I was the publisher. Young Pete is such a sweetheart, and so innocent. Isaac is stoic I guess is the word. He's used to others not liking him, treating him like so much trash because he's black, but Pete just doesn't get it. He sees Isaac as his daddy's best friend. A man to emulate, a man of honor. And despite Isaac's lack of formal education, he was a learned man thanks to his mama getting hands on books for him to read. I loved Isaac. And Pete. And what Pete and his grand-daddy does at the end of the book is just so dog-gone sweet. Even if MISSING ISAAC is not a book you'd pick up, pick it up. These characters are so real they just walk right off the page and into your heart. And they are destined to stay there long after you close the pages of this book. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Virginiaw 3 months ago
This was such a perfect read. It made me laugh and cry because you really get to like both Pete and Isaac. Pete grows up to be a very good person. The mid to late 60’s was a very volatile time period. The racial tension is dealt with very well. I hope to read many more stories by this author. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
BethErin 3 months ago
Southern rural community culture plays an essential role in Missing Isaac, the setting is more than a simple canvas for this story to be painted on. It is the South and the collective pride and prejudices of her people that form the foundation and framework of this immersive experience.  Pete McLean is just a nice young man and I'm sure his mama is over the moon proud of him. Isaac Reynolds might be employed by the McLean family but Pete is unconcerned by age, social class, and skin color. As far as Pete is concerned, Isaac is simply his father's friend and now his friend, too. Pete encounters resistance on his search yet he inspires those around him to see with their hearts instead of their eyes and listen to the Spirit instead of the crowds. I cried no less than three times during this book yet there were also moments bursting with joy, full of hope, and some light-hearted mischief as well. I highly recommend this story and look forward to future works of fiction from this author! I requested the opportunity to read this book from the publisher. The opinions expressed are my own.
Storm992472 9 hours ago
I was so glad when I found out that I won this book from Bookish. I was a book I really wanted to read and I was not disappointed. I did struggle in the beginning to get into the story but once I got past a certain point I was hooked and could not put it down. The one thing that really bothered me was that Isaac was not the main story, I feel that halfway through the book Isaac was forgotten and a whole new plot was written about. I really wish there was more about Isaac and what happened to him. I did enjoy the book it had me in tears it also had me laughing. The characters are so real and likable. I love finding new authors. I will definitely be reading more books written by Valerie Fraser Luesse.
mrs2a50 3 days ago
Solid 4.5 stars! I so enjoyed this book! The simplicity of the era and setting allowed me to get a little lost in a time devoid of cell phones, social media, constant television and round-the-clock media. The characters were endearing and refreshing, and I loved watching Pete and Dovey as they grew up and became adults - their innocence and humble upbringings honestly made me a little sad for our current generation and made me digress a bit into the downfalls of growing up in today's society. My one "complaint" if you can call it that is that the blurb for this book is pretty deceiving. Maybe it was my mistaken assumption, but this is not a book about solving a missing person case. The search for Isaac is merely a blip in the storyline. This is all about a young boy who loses his father, then loses a close friend, and how that shapes his life as he grows from boy to young man to man. It's about young love and relationships. It's about respecting family and people and valuing community. It's about letting go of the past and embracing the future. There are some hard lessons about race and bias and the dividing lines that existed in the south, and how to navigate through those conflicts. But bottom line, it's a damn good book, and I'm grateful to have read it!
Anonymous 3 days ago
I am so utterly blown away by this book, it is hard for me to know where to begin. When I started reading Missing Isaac, I was excited for a well-written story about interracial friendships and interactions in a certain time period in the south. I am very interested in that time period, and the mentality of all people, in all time periods, who feel that a degree of separation between people is "necessary." After reading an excerpt of the story, I knew that this was bound to be a gripping story and I was so excited to get my hands on it. Once I started reading, I quite literally did not stop until I finished the book. I adore Pete's character. He is such a sweet and good and gentle soul. He is everything that I would love to my little boy to grow up and be, honestly. He felt very real, but also ideal. Which is a difficult balance to reach as an author. I think that Ms. Luesse did an phenomenal job of finding that perfect balance. But it was Dovey that clinched the entire story for me. Her character is so insightful and straightforward. There was one particular scene that made me laugh out loud (startling the wits out of my poor, unsuspecting family, as I am typically a silent reader). When Pete takes Dovey to a church event and the preppiest white boy around tries to "lure" her away from Pete by bowling her over with the sight of his car and - what? What he presumes is animal magnetism, I suppose. And Dovey's response is to deadpan at him (at least it sounded like deadpan in my own head), "But who are you?" I loved it SO much! Straightforward, no-nonsense, insightful. She is an utter delight to read. SPOILERS!!!!!!! DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK!!!!! SERIOUSLY, HERE THERE BE SPOILERS! The journey of Pete and Dovey down the path from friendship to romance to marriage saved this book from completely breaking my heart. I don't know that I could have handled it otherwise, because all along I wanted so desperately to believe that Isaac would be found alive. I wanted that happy ending with all of my heart. Even as the pages turned and the dates ticked off months and years without him being found, I still hoped. Maybe he would have fallen in the woods, and is in a coma in a hospital somewhere? Maybe he was kidnapped and is being held hostage? Maybe he got mauled by an animal, suffered from infection while lost, and lost his mind? Maybe he decided to take a sudden opportunity to run off and get a sailboat? That last one seemed least likely, but I was hoping for any ending where Isaac got to come home and be Pete's best man at his wedding. Because you know he would have been. When I read that Isaac was found the way he was, I broke down crying. What a tragic, awful, horrific event for the whole town. And what disgusts me most is the sheer reality of it. People do horrible things all the time, just like what happened to Isaac, and they fully expect to get away with it. Why? Because they often DO. It sickens me. This is such a beautifully written and compelling book. I feel it is a call to action, to change attitudes and take things like justice much more seriously. I loved this book, and highly, highly recommend it to every single person who enjoys reading.
Anonymous 3 days ago
So, this is not my cup of tea usually. This is historical fiction set in the 1960's and tried to cover race, class, family, and faith. The main character experiences loss more than once and tugs at your heartstrings. This author writes characters well and they are well rounded and developed. You believe in the relationships that are developed within the characters and it makes you want to root for them, especially the main character Pete. There are a few areas of the book where it is humorous - but not too many of them. Overall this is a good read that goes by rather quickly if you are into Southern dialect. I liked the book but was not in love with it. I think this could be a great vacation read. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Missing Isaac is one of the best books I have read this year! It is an easy read, full of believable characters and strong emotions. The author has done a wonderful job of explaining life in the 1960's and the day to day struggles that the different social classes have to get through. You will feel the pain Pete feels when his father dies, the emotional turmoil of Dovey and the growth of each and every person in small town Glory. I think this tale would make a great series and a great Hallmark movie. I only hope that the author has plans to give us more of small town life and turmoil with deep, emotional and smart people and their everyday hopes and dreams. I loved following Pete and Dovey as they matured and watching the results of prejudice, lies and love through out the town. This book will confirm the belief that we are all in this world together, no matter who we are, where we come from or our social standing. Missing Isaac is just a darn good, enjoyable read!
jebsweetpea 3 months ago
What it's about: Even though Isaac is one of Pete McLean's father's hired hands, he is Pete's best friend. And in the 1960's, having a friend who is of a different race is frowned upon. And a friend is who Pete needs, especially after his father unexpectedly dies in an farming equipment accident. But then Isaac suddenly disappears which leaves Pete emotionally wandering and wondering what happened. But because Isaac is African American, to those in authority, he didn't really matter. Pete's grandfather is on a mission to find answers for Pete. And Pete is on a mission to find Isaac. And through his mission, Pete meets a new friend, Dovey, who changes his views on friendship. Struggle along with Pete as he grows up and faces different challenges in his upbringing years and see if he ends up finding answers as to what happened to Isaac. What I thought: This was a very interesting book. Seeing how the culture viewed people of color, people of different status' and people of different economic means was written well. I liked the slow, easy pace of the story line and the turns it takes, kind of like a meandering river with subtle bends along the way. This was the first time I have read a book by Luesse and enjoyed it. She weaves a story well and tells a tale with ease. Would you like it: This was a book more about the heart rather than a suspense mystery. A journey over time rather than over a few days (like most suspense mysteries). Revell Books sent me a complimentary copy to review. Opinions expressed are my own.
Blooming-with-Books 3 months ago
Don't miss out on reading Missing Isaac! Missing Isaac By Valerie Fraser Luessse Isaac Reynolds was the first to let Pete McLean, his mother, and grandfather know that something bad had happened to his daddy. That day Isaac became the closest friend Pete had until the night he disappeared. Pete knows that Isaac wouldn't just up and disappear without a word to anyone. But in Glory, Alabama, the disappearance of a black man is of no consequence to the sheriff, but not to Pete's way of thinking. And Pete's determined to discover just what happened to his friend. But some thing are just impossible and Pete can't find any clue as to what happened to Isaac. In his efforts to find Isaac, Pete meets a young girl by the name of Dovey Pickett. The Picketts don't mix with the rest of the citizens of Glory on account of their social standing and being considered by the proper people to be poor white trash. But Pete doesn't see things the way most of Glory does. He's more like his Daddy seeing beyond what is there for all to see and seeing to the heart of a person. What starts on that day is a friendship that will see him through many a day and make a lasting impact on not only his life but those closest to him. And as to Isaac the worst is feared by those who know him best. Missing Isaac takes place between 1962 and 1968, period of turbulence and change. But through it all this a book that dwells on the value of family and the loyalty of friendship. Like most places life isn't perfect but Pete knows what is important to him and he is willing to fight for what he feels is right. No, there is not a lot of fighting in this book, rather Pete knows what should be done and he persists in his efforts. Missing Isaac was an enjoyable read - there were periods of sadness, times of joy, and good honest living in-between. Through it all Pete stayed true to who he was and the roots he was given. Often people lament the loss of simpler times but life has always been what you put into it and that is never simpler. I look forward to more from this author in the future, if this debut novel is any indication readers will be drawn into a world that they'll enjoy staying in for a spell. I was provided a review copy of this book by the publisher Revell through their blogger program with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Moonpie72 3 months ago
I spent my childhood in the 1960’s so I felt a certain connection with Pete McLean. I was not faced with the loss of my father as he was but the times he lived in I vividly remember. After his father dies in a terrible farming accident on their land, he feels lost and overwhelmed. He was blessed in having Isaac Reynolds, a Negro farm worker that had been there as long as Pete could remember. He was not only a loyal friend to the late Mr. McLean but also to Pete. While the McLean’s embraced all people the same regardless of their skin color, at that time society did not. Isaac had character, wisdom and gentleness despite his background of poverty. But the young boy’s source of comfort is quickly gone as his friend suddenly disappears without a trace. He resolves to discover what happened to his dear friend no matter what it takes. For the next six years as he grows from boyhood to young manhood he puts his heart and soul into solving the mystery. In his searching for the truth his path crosses with Dovey Pickett. There couldn’t be two more opposites socially. A wealthy white boy and a back woods impoverished girl. Here again Pete turns his back on societal norms and romance blossoms. The book was entertaining and informative. I grew up in a middle class family that had enough, and I had friends that were wealthy, but I had no idea there were people living in such hardship and deprivation. I saw on the news about racism in the nation, but I had trouble understanding why such conflict existed. I admired Pete’s integrity that gave him the strength to not give into hypocrisy or discrimination. He was a strong testimony of what child is taught in the home will carry into his adulthood and values. His relationship with Isaac and Dovey shows that compassion and character override any obstacles in friendship or love. An outstanding first novel for Ms. Luesse! I look forward to reading more of her books to come! I received a copy of this book free from Revell Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
ARS8 3 months ago
I enjoy discovering new author’s stories and debut author Valerie Fraser Luesse’s story, Missing Isaac, is one for the keeper shelf. When I first started this story I really did not know what I was getting into. I was happily surprised by this novel and its message of love and community that was written between its pages. As the title suggests, we are introduced to a young boy, Pete, who has latched on to his father’s field hand, Isaac, after some terrible circumstances. Isaac is like the big brother Pete never had, guiding him and showing him how to be himself. Then Isaac disappears without a trace. As the year’s progress and Pete grows into manhood and he meets new people and new friends, he has not forgotten Isaac. Isaac’s lost story line is relevant in the shaping of Pete and his loved ones lives. Even though life continued to go on, there was still a missing piece. This is a story of a small community made up of rich, poor, black, and white during the 1960’s. Some of the people are kind, some mean, and some very peculiar. This is also a coming of age story. This book touched on some of the deepest tragedies people can face and showed how after a while they were picking up the pieces learning to live and love again. There are a couple of romances nestled into these pages. And though this story’s focus is not the romance, the two that are within are superbly told. I am glad I picked up this book and tried this new author. I can’t wait for more of her stories. I received a copy of this novel for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Britney_Adams 3 months ago
Missing Isaac is a touching tale! The setting and social struggle are vividly portrayed, as Pete McClean comes of age in a small, rural town in 1960s Alabama. The cast of characters is memorable, and their emotional journeys are quite engaging. The events that transpired and the growth of the characters felt authentic, and I appreciated the depth found in the story. Having enjoyed this well-written debut, I look forward to reading more from Valerie Fraser Luesse. I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
Suzie_W 3 months ago
Valerie Fraser Luesse’s debut novel paints a vivid picture of small town-life in the south during the 1960s. There are invisible lines drawn amongst the social classes in addition to those drawn according to skin color. A study in “train up a child in the way he should go,” Missing Isaac is Pete’s story. When the boy loses his father then finds a friend in a field hand only to lose him, he has no choice but to uncover what happened. Pete is a good boy (almost to0 good to be true sometimes). In his search for his friend, he meets Dovey. These two understand and protect each other from their first meeting. And as they grow up, they grow closer. Throughout the book is woven the question of what happened to Isaac. While the entire book is not about the search, it comes up often enough the reader won’t forget about it. And as we’re introduced to the townspeople, Pete’s honesty, loyalty and good character shine brightly. Through prejudices, challenges, harsh opinions, and the storms of life, Pete makes choices that determine the man he will become. One of honor and integrity. One who uses his gifts and his resources to bless others as his family has taught him. Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
RuthieJonesTX 3 months ago
Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse can be summed up in one word: Exquisite Both the story and the writing are exquisite in their ability to evoke so much emotion and empathy/sympathy for the characters. The title of the book is enigmatic and can be viewed in a couple of ways. Isaac is both missed and missing. Pete is a young boy when his father is killed in a farm accident, and it’s Isaac who offers him comfort and wisdom. Isaac’s disappearance sets Pete adrift and faced with the burning desire to find out the truth of his friend’s disappearance. Pete’s quest for this truth takes him to the Hollow, where he meets Dovey. As their story begins and beautifully unfolds across the pages, their families start to intertwine and, in some cases, come back together. The mystery of Isaac’s disappearance often seems to take a backseat to the story of Pete and Dovey, but it’s always there, undulating throughout. Why? Because Pete’s grandfather doggedly keeps the mystery alive as he sets his private detective on the case. No spoilers because the journey toward the spectacular revelation should be savored and not rushed or revealed too soon. It’s that very journey that makes this story so striking. Missing Isaac has many touching moments, but the sweetest for me comes from Pete’s mother, Lila, and Dovey’s father, John. Their children’s budding relationship causes them to circle around their past and tentatively step into their future. Did I tell you this story is exquisite? The writing is quite lyrical, and the characters are strongly developed. The story often lulls you as you follow Pete and Dovey from childhood, with their first blush of friendship, into adulthood, with their unshakable bond of love. But don’t be fooled. Missing Isaac has plenty of conflict that will leave you angry at the injustice yet cheering for the strong and unbreakable ties within and between families. Families, I might add, that are often both humble in their love for the land and each other and stubborn in their longstanding pride and mistrust of anything outside of their tight-knit circles.
MaureenST 4 months ago
This is a debut novel by this author, and it sure won’t be my last to enjoy by her, she sure has won me over, a read that felt like I was watching as this story unfolded. There is a lot of pain and heartache here and when we face growing up in the 1960’s Alabama, and meet prejudice head on. This is Pete’s story and his family that found the town of “Glory”, the setting of this story. While the author has us walking in Pete’s shoes, we experience and walk with others in this community, and learn a lot of life lessons here. While things don’t always turn out how we want them to, there are a lot of surprises here, both good and bad. A warning that once you start, you won’t be able to stop, and I could have used a few more epilogues, I wanted to spend more time with these characters. I received this book through Revell Publishing Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
StoreyBookReviews 4 months ago
This story encompasses much of life in the south in the 1960’s. While there is some strife and conflict, most of the story is positive and upbeat which makes for an enjoyable read. Missing Isaac is billed as a coming of age story, which I do believe it is, not only for Pete but for his love interest, Dovey. The story follows Pete’s life from about 11 to 17 and how he reacts to the passing of his father; his friend Isaac that goes missing; and meeting the love of his life by chance while searching for his friend Isaac. For Dovey, it is finding love; singing in public (church) and realizing that perhaps there is more to life than what she experienced growing up on the Pickett’s farm. I found it interesting that since the book was set in the 1960’s and in the south, that there not much mentioned about segregation in the town of Glory. There is mention of visiting Tandy’s for ribs and Pete experiencing the blues for the first time, but any other mention was fleeting. The book is also billed as Christian and there are many hymn lyrics quoted and of course there are events held at the Baptist church. This seemed very appropriate because I associate Baptist and the South together. There are some gentle pokes at the Methodists during an event, but nothing out of line. In fact, most of it is treated as a joke from the pastor’s comments and it felt like it was in fun and not meant to be derogatory. In small towns you can expect most of the families to be related in one respect or another – if not by blood then by friendship which is as strong as a blood relationship, if not stronger. This is the sort of town I wouldn’t mind residing because people look out for each other and it isn’t because they feel obligated, but because it is taking care of family (blood or otherwise). Ned Ballard is a strong patriarch and his kindness shines throughout the book. This book also has a little bit of a mystery – what happened to Isaac? I won’t spoil it, but it is revealed what happened the night he went missing. And I was surprised, but not surprised at the turn of events and those involved. Seems like those that feel entitled do so no matter the decade. Overall we enjoyed the slower pace of this book, the love stories and the mystery and give it 4 paws up.
Laundry_Whispers 4 months ago
This book spoke to me on some level. When I saw it come up for review I was a minute or 1440 minutes too late to nab it. NetGalley to the rescue! As a debut novel Valerie Fraser Luesse hit it out of the park. That being said I’m sitting here looking at a mostly blank screen and struggling to rate and even review the book. The synopsis sold me on a story about a young southern boy in the 1960’s who would stop at nothing to find out what happened to his dad’s friend, a man he looked up to, that happened to be black. That’s not quite what the story delivered to me. I loved the story, I truly did but reality did not meet expectation. I had to adjust my expectation to find that reality was handing me a pretty amazing book of community, faith, friendship, love, and doing the right thing even when no one knows it’s the right thing. Isaac Reynolds may have just been a field hand on the Ballard farm. Isaac Reynolds may have been a black man scrapping a living for his family in The South during the 1960’s. But he was also a friend to Pete McLean’s father, a friend to Pete after his father passed away, and an all around genuinely nice man. And then he disappeared. In his quest to find out what happened to his friend and to some degree role model, Pete made some pretty sketchy decisions. One of those decisions brought him in direct contact with Dovey Pickett. Dovey is an entirely different Southern enigma stereotype. She’s holler people. Backwoods, country folks that tend to avoid as much civilization as possible. Dovey and Pete start an unlikely, and completely secret, friendship. A friendship that the adults around them (once exposed of course) know even at their young ages is one for the ages. Daddy Ballard is really the mastermind behind the question to find the truth about Isaac. This books brings me a story that while quaint and somewhat syrupy is also endearing and absorbing. While I was disappointed in the veer it took from what I expected it gave me something that I’ll never regret investing myself into. The characters might as well have walked around in skin and fabric taking the air I breath as their own. Again though, syrupy. Even the villains, which I loved to despise, were a bit too syrupy. They weren’t overly villainous but more annoying twits of stereotypical toadnuggetness. The story moved like honey sitting in the sun on a warm summer day though I did get caught in a sugar lump or two between reading in spurts due to that whole work thing and trying to work out how all the other stuff fit into the Isaac mystery. Don’t mind me, I’m feeling my inner cranky southern woman for a moment. The truth is this is an author I plan to keep my eye on. Coming of age type stories (which is totally tied with mystery as my favorite genre to read and is the only type of fiction I work on during Nano) are hard to win at but this book does it. I might have lost sight of the synopsis but it found me at the end. And I’m ever so grateful it did. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
HelenM0 4 months ago
Missing Isaac is the first novel of Author Valerie Fraser Luesse. This is a very heart warming story that takes place in Alabama in the 1960's. When Pete's father dies, we see the relationship Pete has with his father's employee and friend, Isaac. Isaac often takes care of Pete, taking him fishing as well as secretly taking Pete to visit Isaac's family and friend. When Isaac goes missing, Pete and his grandfather are convinced things are not what law enforcement says. Pete leaves home early one day to look for Isaac's body. He meets a young girl who helps him when he gets into trouble. This is just the start of a friendship between two children of different race, social standing and religion. I enjoyed reading this book a lot. I enjoyed the mystery that slowly came out during the story. The story shows the loving heart that Pete's grandfather had for others, including those of different race and those in poverty. We also see how much Pete's grandfather did for the small town in such quiet ways. In a day when white people did not mix with the blacks, Pete's family did not follow those standards and Pete was picked on because of it. The author has done a great job of writing an easy to follow story. Even though the story has a lot of characters, it is very easy to keep them straight. I think anyone who enjoys reading good, clean fiction will enjoy this story. I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. This is my honest review.
parmilespages 4 months ago
I absolutely adored this book. From the very first page of the first chapter, I was hooked. “’Pete, honey, you’ve got a closetful of clothes – why do you insist on wearing that old hand-me-down of your daddy’s?’ his mother asked ‘I don’t know,’ he said with a shrug. ‘’Cause he gave it to me, I guess.’ There was more to it than that, of course. The truth was that Pete’s father was both his hero and his best friend. There was no one he admired more than Jack McLean, no one he so longed to emulate. Not only that but he thoroughly enjoyed his father’s company – and Pete could tell the feeling was mutual.” In those few sentences the author explained the relationship between Pete and her father so well that the reader knew exactly how much the father meant to the boy. So when the father dies, it brought tears to my eyes; and I was only a couple pages into the story. Each of the characters, were well developed and I had images in my head of what kind of people they were, whether they were kind, selfish, courageous or generous, etc. The author did a great job developing the tension that existed between the social classes during the 1960’s. And the era was portrayed with sensitivity and accuracy, including the struggles that existed as they tried to live together in a community. Isaac was a farm hand that worked for Pete’s father and bonded with Pete when he needed a friend. And when Isaac went missing, it created an element of mystery to the story. But I thought the main story was Pete and Dovey’s unlikely relationship and how it developed. Their relationship brought other people into their story and bridged the social class system. Although, the main story line was somewhat predictable, that didn’t bother me because there were other aspects that weren’t always predictable. Overall, I thought it was a lovely and sentimental story. I would highly recommend this novel. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Thank you to Revell and NetGalley for the free review copy of this novel. All opinions are my own. Historical fiction is by far my favorite genre. This book seemed appealing because it was set in the south in the 1960’s. One of the things that instantly drew me in was the small community and getting a glimpse of everyday life may have been like for the people in Glory. This book was the perfect culmination of many emotions. There was loss, love, and laughter. The McLean family was extremely relatable with their humble attitudes and genuine goodness. My favorite part about this novel was reading about Pete, and his experiences that helped shape him into the man he becomes. The reader is able to experience adolescence with him, which is a trying time in anyone’s life, but it was especially hard for him with all of the issues that had plagued him. Though this book seems like it is only a mystery, it is so much more than that. This book explores what happens to and in the family unit when they are threatened. The novel shows the close-mindedness of some, and what it will eventually cost them. I liked how the author used characters that were seen as outcasts because there are those that are ostracized because they don’t seem to fit in.
Cherylkochbooks 4 months ago
Author, Valerie Fraser Luesse takes readers on an amazing, emotional, heartfelt story filled with endearing characters and a beautiful storyline with Missing Isaac! The bond that Pete and Isaac shared was great. In fact, this book kind of reminded me of a modern day To Kill a Mockingbird. A classic story that is a favorite of mine. Pete's innocence to the world around him including the fact that he did not see a line between him and Isaac was great. Isaac was like another father figure/big brother to Pete. That is why when Isaac went missing, it was devastating. I had grown so close to the characters that it was easy reading. Yet, there is someone else that I can't forget to mention and that is Lila. She turned into a lovely woman. It was nice to see her grow as the story progressed. Pete and she made a cute couple. A great ending. Additionally, I plan to read more books by this author.