Oh, how the stories of a place are captured or distorted over the years: is the house doomed, or does it doom? Makkai's book meditates on identity, belonging and isolation, and the tide of a century. "We aren't haunted by the dead," she writes, "but by the impossible reach of history. By how unknowable these others are to us, how unfathomable we'd be to them."
This quick read is good for the literary -- a children's librarian accidentally, well, borrows one of her patrons, a 10-year-old she fears is at risk of having his spirit crushed by his family. Although lighter in tone, it called to mind two other recent books that touch on kidnappings: Schroder, by Amity Gaige, and Lamb, by Bonnie Nadzam.