The Mystery of Hollow Places

The Mystery of Hollow Places

by Rebecca Podos

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Overview

The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

The Mystery of Hollow Places is a gorgeously written, stunningly original novel of love, loss, and identity, from debut author Rebecca Podos.

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”

Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062373342
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/26/2016
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 813,479
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 900L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rebecca Podos is a graduate of the writing, literature, and publishing program at Emerson College, where she won the MFA award for best thesis. Her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and SmokeLong Quarterly. Her books include The Mystery of Hollow Places and Like Water. She lives with her husband in Connecticut.

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The Mystery of Hollow Places 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not much of a mystery and a meandering, sloppy story. I would skip this one.
SMParker More than 1 year ago
The Mystery of Hollow Places is one of the best YA novels I have ever read. From the voice to the brilliant and flawed main character (and her journey), I could not put this book down. This debut novel by Rebecca Podos has a lot of precise and precious things to say about mental health, forgiveness and identity. To say I loved this book would be a huge understatement. Podos has joined the ranks of insta-buy authors for me and I'm already eager to see what she writes next. No, not eager. I'm impatient to see what she writes next. Because I look forward to being in this authors capable hands once again.
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
Imogene’s mother left with no explanation when she was a child, and now her father has gone missing. Along with her stepmother, Imogene sets out to find her father and figure out why he left in the first place. There are several characters that we meet along the way, all of whom help us get to the “why” and “how” we’re so eager to see. I was a bit surprised by how this story turned out. I was expecting a major mystery, but this wasn’t that. Though there was a mystery, the story was more centered around the story of Imogene, her family, and her struggle with it all. There was quite a bit of personal growth in this read, which had a much stronger emphasis than the mystery aspect. I loved the strong friend and family relationships involved, which is always a plus for me. I did honestly struggle with this book a bit, as I wasn’t as drawn to the story as I had hoped. It was enjoyable, though it felt like it was missing something substantial, something that could have made it exceptional. Overall, an entertaining and quick read that I’m happy I read. (Thanks to Balzer and Bray for the review copy!)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Imogene's father, the author of forensic mysteries, goes missing, Imogene thinks she knows where to find him. Using what she's learned from reading his books (and other beloved mysteries), she strikes off with her best friend Jessa and Jessa's brother (who, okay, she *might* have a longtime crush on) to find her long-lost mother, convinced her dad has gone off in search of her. Both a compelling mystery and a powerfully honest exploration of mental illness, this novel is exquisitely written. Podos has crafted a unique "voice" for Imogene, a hybrid of literary and naturalistic teen language. She displays a real knack for dialogue and a keen understanding of the world of contemporary teenagers. Imogene and Jessa's friendship is utterly authentic, and totally brought me back to my own teenage friendships. The characterizations throughout -- both adult and teen -- are among the most realistically flawed I've come across in recent years. An intelligent, well-crafted novel from a writer to watch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was pulled into this book on the very first page. It opens with lovely prose and a beautiful metaphor that left me smiling immediately (also, the book title is mention right away and whenever a book title is actually in the book, I love it) Imogene's father has disappeared. She and her stepmother have called the police, have answered questions, but no one knows where he is. But Imogene has a theory, based on a clue her father left her: the geode which was his most prize possession, given to him by her mother who left when Imogene was just a child. Imogene knows her father has gone to look for her mother, and now Imogene must follow the clues he's left for her to hopefully find them both. I'm a big fan of stories about mental illness and Podods does a fantastic job at weaving hints of discussion of mental illness throughout the narrative. Imogene mentions in passing her father's "bad times" as well as skirts around the issues of her mother's own supposed mental illness. The supporting characters are great. Imogene often comes off as distrusting of the people in her life, even those who are supposed to be her friends, and though sometimes it makes her seem standoffish, she carries the story easily, and when she starts to thaw towards those people who maybe actually do only have her best interests in mind, the reader is happy for the friendships Imogene gains. The mystery at the heart of everything (what happened to her father, and to a lesser extent, her mother) is deftly handled, leaving clues for the reader to pick up, but not so many to ruin the surprise. Overall this is a story about family and loss and grief and mental illness all wound together with a string of mystery that will draw readers to the very last page.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
The only details seventeen-year-old Imogene Scott has about her mother are ones gleaned from the bedtime story her father told every night. Before he became a best-selling novelist, Joshua Zhi Scott was a forensic pathologist who met Imogene's mother when she came to identify a body. He would then tell Imogene that her mother was always lonely. He'd even say that she was troubled waters. They would never talk about why her mother left, especially not since her father remarried and Lindy is now part of their family. When Imogene's father disappears in the middle of the night, Imogene thinks he might want her to follow the clues he left behind; he might want Imogene to find him and maybe find her mother as well. With unlikely help from her best friend and all of the skills learned from reading her father's mysteries, Imogene hopes to find her father and unravel the secrets surrounding her own past. But, as Imogene knows too well, things aren't always perfect at the end of a mystery in The Mystery of Hollow Places (2016) by Rebecca Podos. The Mystery of Hollow Places is Podos' first novel. Podos delivers an eerie mystery in this surprising tale. The Mystery of Hollow Places is also a solid homage to mysteries and Gothic novels alike as interpreted by a heroine whose favorite novel is Rebecca. Imogene's first-person narration is pragmatic and often insightful as she makes sense of her mother's absence and her father's struggle with bipolar disorder. Unlike many teen detective stories, this book also remains decidedly in the realm of possibility as Imogene works with what she has and within the limitations inherent to a teenager trying to investigate some very adult problems. Although the plot focuses on the mystery of finding her father, Imogene's story is just as much about acceptance and the strength found in friendships and choosing who to call family. Elements of magic realism and a stark Massachusetts backdrop add atmosphere to this sometimes choppy mystery with a diverse cast of characters. The Mystery of Hollow Places is a strong debut and an unexpected mystery. Recommended for fans of traditional mysteries, suspenseful stories filled with twists, as well as readers looking for an atmospheric novel to keep them company on a cold winter night (or to evoke one anyway!). Possible Pairings: Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom, Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Truth Commission by Susan Juby, Blue Plate Special by Michelle D. Kwasney, The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol and David Ostow, Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales