The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
Published by Balzer & Bray
Published on January 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult
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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 Imogene was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by 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.
Rebecca Podos’s debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us, and the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.
There’s a reason for everything, if you look hard enough. An answer for every mystery.
This book is heavy with topics of mental illness and depression. I can often associate with these types of things, having dealt with them myself. It’s one of the reasons I like to read books containing the topic. While I could associate with certain aspects of this story, for the most part I felt somewhat unattached to everything.
We follow 17 year old Imogene Scott as she searches for her father, who has suddenly disappeared. This search also leads her on a search for her mother, her left Imogene and her fathers years beforehand. Imogene’s dad writes mystery/crime novels, and as Imogene searches for clues, she looks at everything through the eyes of one of her fathers characters.
I love a good mystery. But in my opinion, this really just read more as a contemporary. I did not feel caught up in the mystery or find myself trying to guess things or figure them out myself. I just found the book lacking that special thing that just grabs you and doesn’t let go.
I get closing up your heart because you’re afraid to look inside and find out it’s hollow. I get choosing to be alone because you’re afraid that if the choice is out of your hands, you’ll simply be lonely, and alone is okay, it’s almost cool, in a way. But loneliness isn’t just being alone.
The writing is definitely not the problem. Podos writes beautifully. I would be interested to read more by her in the future. I think there are many people who would really enjoy this book! Maybe the problem was me, not the book. I just didn’t connect. I would still recommend this book to lovers of contemporary and books dealing with mental illness.