From the award-winning author of Things That Fall from the Sky, a richly nuanced and deeply moving novel about the disappearance of a young girl, as told by her devastated father.
Celia is seven years old on the day she goes missing. Her father, Christopher, is giving a tour of their historic house; her mother, Janet, is at an orchestra rehearsal. Celia is outside playing. She rides her bicycle. She throws a rubber ball against the roof. She disappears.
A writer of fantasy and science fiction, Christopher finds himself drawn into a grief-induced world of wishful fantasy in which Celia still exists. Plunging into his work to help him cope with her disappearance, he writes of its effects from the points of view of the people who are still haunted by her absence: Janet, the policeman who is in charge of the case, and Christopher himselfeach voice contributing to the heart-wrenching picture of a town subtly, but lastingly, changed.
The Truth About Celia is a novel of remarkable understandingan extraordinary exploration of profound loss and inconsolable grief.
Together, the eight stories, ranging from psychological realism to science fiction to supernatural fantasy, fall somewhere between a linked collection and a full-fledged novel, and their unvarying gracefulness takes some of the bite out of the sadness -- perhaps too much. They go down more easily than, given the subject, they ought to. Craig Seligman