Missing Isaac

Missing Isaac

by Valerie Fraser Luesse

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Overview

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: 310,998
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 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
lolly-pops More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Wonderful story with some 1960 history intwined.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has such a lovely softness to it. I don't know exactly how to describe it but the book made me feel dreamy and soft. The friendship between Issac and Pete is so special and makes you love these characters so much. They both offer so much to each other and, yet, are unlikely friends. The setting of this novel is right up my alley as I love anything set in the south. Even better that it was set in a time gone by as it hits the right touch of nostalgia for me. The mystery component of the novel is nice and plays out at a nice pace. All of the character are well developed and well formed. The author's writing style is easy to read but also very descriptive. Great story, great characters, and great writing makes it so easy to recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Family Ties and Race Relation: these have been and still are an integral part of life in America. For anyone who enjoyed Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, you will want to read this book. What might sound like an unlikely friendship in a book review is realistic and compelling as told by this author. I am glad that I read the book and wavered between a 4 star and 5.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Missing Isaac is a mid-20th century novel of a young boy, Pete, who is coming of age. In the beginning, Isaac is around 11 years old and in the opening scene, he looses his father to a farming accident. At that point in time, Isaac, a farm hand, takes Pete under his wing. He is a few years older, but he becomes an important character in his life. Unforunately, Isaac too goes missing. His car is found on the side of the road, however, he is nowhere to be found. One day, Pete is searching for Isaac when he comes across a gal named Dovey. They become fast friends, even though they do not suspect their families would approve of their friendship. This book delves into race, poverty and religion in the 1960s. As well as the unexpected melding of two families -- the division but also unification of a small town named Glory in Alabama.
ReadingwithErin More than 1 year ago
I can't wait to see what the author writes next! Thank you to bookishfirst for a physical copy in exchange for my honest review. One thing we must remember while reading this book is that it's the 60's in the south. It wasn't kind to people of color or those who didn't own lands or anything else. Missing Isaac follows a young man named Pete as he grows up throughout his childhood. We see his loss, and his determination to find his best friend Isaac who is a field hand. Pete's family not only has money but owns a big farm and has sharecroppers as well. His grandfather is the one still in charge and is someone that is fair and kind to everyone even the people of color that work for him. He doesn't think that color should matter and because of that Pete doesn't either. Pete is a character that was kind, caring, and loved the simpler things of life. He found love in a place that most people refused to go near unless it was to taunt. Dovey was someone who helped Pete see a different side of life and showed us how caring he was. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Not only was it nice to see a different side to the south in the 60's. It was also nice to see a young man living during this time and sticking up for everyone and truly wanting the best for them. I found the first half of this book really good, but the last half kind of fell flat for me. Maybe it was because this seemed to become a type of romance book with a side of still trying to find Isaac. I was also bothered by how Pete's family was just able to throw money at everything to try and fix it. While realistic it also just bothered me because of how poor so many others were in town. I did like how they didn't let their money change how they saw people and they did truly care about everyone. Despite those two things, I did love how Pete and Dovey worked through things. Dovey's dad and family respected her decision and supported it, even if they didn't always understand it. As for if Isaac is ever found, well that's something you'll have to read the book to find out. The religion in this book was very minimal, we do see them going to church and talking about it, but this was something that most people did in small towns during this time period. It also wasn't something that was talked about a lot at home, so to me, it felt like a non-religious book for the most part.
Lanie More than 1 year ago
Taking place during the 1960s, African-American farmhand Isaac goes missing. While Isaac's story isn't the main one, Pete's is somewhat interesting. The story has quite a few ups and downs regarding the plot. I definitely predicted some story aspects and not others. It definitely has quite a few boring moments. Despite that, the story is well written. While some of the characters are rather iffy for me, Pete is somewhat interesting. The time period it takes place in isn't one that I often read books about but this one was interesting enough. The cover was mostly the reason I tried to win a copy in the first place and it's definitely lovely in person. I won a copy of this through Bookishfirst for an honest and voluntary review.
ReadingCornerforAll More than 1 year ago
The 1960's was a very difficult time as the civil rights movement continued the ever mounting struggle to reach social and humane equality. However, readers are able to see through Pete's eyes the bewilderment that there is such a great societal emphasis that separates people. All that mattered to Pete was that Isaac was there when he needed him the most. When Isaac goes missing....Pete does all he can to regain his friend.
15759663 More than 1 year ago
Valerie Luesse has done a great job of inviting readers into a narrative that truly causes one to question the injustice in the world. Meeting Pete in the midst of trauma and seeing him transform throughout the pages is truly wonderful. His growth is attributed to his deep relationship with Isaac, an unlikely friend, and field hand. Pete is growing up during a time where one's physical reality determines their future and the possibility of meaningful, and sacrificial relationships, so it is wonderful to see Pete push against the constraints of society for Isaac, risking his very own comfort. Pete's story is challenging, inspirational, and relatable. I would hope that one would be able to find themselves within the pages of this narrative, and hopefully, be compelled to question and unearth the obtuse and acute injustices of this world and within their own communities. Even more, I am hopeful that all readers would be able to take their own special nugget of wisdom with this text and do something worthwhile with these nuggets as they seek to live their best life and flourish in their relationships.
BookCoholic More than 1 year ago
Not My Cup of Sweet Tea I held out so much hope for Missing Isaac. The description read as though the book's material would cover a new and refreshing look at race relations, coming of age, and faith story. To me, the actual book read as a sugar coating of reality. This is a debut novel, so I believe the author has the talent to confront and grow reality in future works. The author does write bad characters in Missing Isaac, but they are portrayed as stereotypes. The good characters remain completely pure and resolute, never changing, never showing any signs of development. Missing Isaac is a book that presents the 1960s as a reality that never did exist, and I had mistakenly anticipated that the book would present a snapshot of small towns in the South in practicality with a level and discerning approach to change. The author holds much promise, and I would enjoy subsequent books to watch her development as a writer. Missing Isaac was sent to me by Bookishfirst in exchange for an honest review.
She123 More than 1 year ago
Missing Isaac is a coming of age and slice of life story centered around Pete in Glory, Alabama in the 1960's. When Pete's father dies, we see Pete establish a relationship with his father's right hand man and friend, Isaac. Isaac helps Pete through his grief with fishing and listening, as well as visit the man's family and friends. When Isaac goes missing, Pete and Daddy Ballard (his granddad) are convinced things are not what the sheriff thinks. Pete decides one day to look for Isaac's body. He meets a young girl who helps when he gets into trouble. Dovey becomes part of his life. Daddy Ballard picking up the search for Issac rides in the background as we watch Pete and Dovey mature. The loss of Isaac is the catalyst for the rest of the story. Yet, this story is not just about Pete but a set of characters as they grow in a world struggling with change. This community of people trying to make the best of the times are not perfect. It's their effort and willingness to change and choosing to be better that gives this book heart. Valerie Fraser Luesse's characterizations and simple descriptions were echoes from the past. You can understand once you realize she used oral history for most of her research. I could have read more stories from these characters. They show us change is possible.
SBMC More than 1 year ago
“Then you must walk in the light. No good comes under cloak of darkness.” What an incredible debut novel by Valerie Fraser Luesse! And to think this is her first venture into the fiction world! I can’t wait to read more of her work. Missing Isaac is such a poignant story, layered with a heart-wrenching plot and plenty of heartbreaks, beautiful and memorable characters that settle into your soul, and plenty of solid spiritual truths. Ms. Luesse is truly a gifted storyteller whose dialogue is real and tangible, so much so that I could almost hear the voices and see the emotions during the conversations. I have not read much fiction set in the south during the 1960s, but this book brought the town of Glory, Alabama during the 60s to life vividly and I felt myself grow up and mature with Pete McLean. The book opens up with Pete McLean at the age of twelve as he suffers an awful family tragedy. He slowly becomes a young man with guidance from his mother, his grandfather, and his friend Isaac. When Isaac goes missing, Pete does his best to try to find him and, in his wanderings, he discovers Dovey, a girl from a family who has been self-exiled and ostracized by the townspeople. Pete is a good boy, raised to respect his elders and fear his God, born to love and protect and work hard, always understanding right from wrong. Dovey is a sensitive soul, also hurting from a heartbreaking family tragedy. She’s lonely, like Pete, but has a good head on her shoulders with lots of common sense and faith. Their friendship grows, which inadvertently brings their two families together. There is much history between the two families that the teenagers don’t know about and the history is slowly released in the plot like a fragrant flower blooming. In the midst of Pete and Dovey growing up, the mystery of Isaac’s whereabouts still lingers but does come to a conclusion in the end. The book addresses so much more than just the growing up of two wonderful kids and their sweet, innocent love; it speaks about racism, our prejudices that color our vision, the hate and anger our sinful nature produces, and the grace of our Savior that can wash away all that ugliness. This is one of those books that I will keep thinking about for many weeks to come. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookishFirst. I was not required to write a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
caslinj More than 1 year ago
I received a review copy of Missing Isaac from Bookish First in exchange for an honest review. Spoilers below! Missing Isaac features three families prominently, but the story is really about the town of Glory, Alabama in the 1960's. Pete's family is white and well off, but in a quiet way that serves to build up the small town rather than flaunt it. Isaac's family is black and he and his mother work for Pete's family for many years and are beloved by their employers. The Picketts live in a place in town where no one goes because they are a family who does not like outsiders and are considered "strange" because they keep to themselves. While some of the content can be a bit corny, I was surprised at how much I fell in love with the characters and couldn't wait to figure out what would happen with each of them. This would have been a great book to make a series because you don't necessarily get everything wrapped up in a bow at the end. Two tragic deaths occur in the book that shape everything that happens, but most especially the death of Isaac. Although his body wasn't found, his abandoned truck was and he is assumed dead. The local sheriff doesn't do much to find out what happened, but Pete and his grandfather never forget their friend and spend years trying to find out. The resolution comes quick, and I wish had included more about the justice received when the people responsible for Isaac's death were identified. Also the false accusations toward John didn't seem all that serious or needed, but ultimately serves to bring he and Lila together. It's a story we've heard many times about life in the South during the fight for equal rights, but you can't help but fall in love with these families and the way they stand up for those who are unfairly treated in their community.
KimPr More than 1 year ago
In a world where you oftentimes find friendship with people who look like yourself, this is a wonderful book of love, friendship and grace where it's unexpected. Valerie Fraser Luesse writes in a distinct way that helps the reader to see how different and how alike people are no matter where they are live. Isaac exposed Pete to his world and therefore, Pete grew up accepting himself and others. What a wonderful portrayal of how our world could be when we expose ourselves to people who are different than we are! I loved how Pete, along with the help of his grandfather, did not give up trying to find out what happened to Isaac, even though there were rumors abound to Isaac's whereabouts. It was also encouraging to see how many of the relationships in the book changed as a result of Pete's influence and that just goes to show how children see life purely.
Storm992472 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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 More than 1 year 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.