Ever wonder where those missing socks from the wash go? They must go somewhere, the machine doesn’t eat them. Sandy Shortt is obsessed with missing things, ever since her schoolmate disappeared in childhood. She would spend hours looking for the things she lost, only to come up empty handed. She was meticulous about labeling her things. At a loss for how to save their child, her parents send her to a shrink when she’s fourteen. The man she falls in love with.

Her goal in life becomes finding things, and she joins the police force missing persons unit. Even after that job passes her by she becomes a private detective searching for missing people. She doesn’t sleep, doesn’t eat, and can’t stop. Until she is looking for one of these missing people, and gets lost herself. To a strange place, a place called Here.

She finds people who have been missing for ages. She finds her old teddy bear and all of her mismatched socks. She even finds her long lost classmate, Jenny-May. But in the one place it seems she belongs, she doesn’t want to stay. Her things begin to disappear.

A Place Called Here by Cecilia Ahern book cover

A Fantasy in Our World

This mix of chick lit and fantasy was reminiscent of The Giver by Lois Lowry for its society that is living completely isolated. As well as Alice Hoffman’s writing for her soft fantasy that seems real and yet is just a bit off the normal track. There’s confusion as to whether she’s in an actual place, a dream, or some version of the afterlife.

The beginning of the book was frustrating; it felt like a lot of back story. Like the story had already happened and I didn’t know where the next 400 pages would take me. But when the story jumped into action, what a surprise. A fantasy world that seems like it could be a part of ours.

Identifying Identity

Cecilia Ahern takes her moral and shoves it in your face without you feeling like it’s a sermon. Something as simple as a missing sock to portray a very large human issue: who am I? A person’s identity is not based on the possessions they hold, because those decay and disappear, but on the person they are. It’s not even based on the people surrounding them. Identity is defined by the person themselves.

It is a beautifully written book that puts you directly in the characters place and vividly describes this dream-like world. It’s as if you, the reader, are finding your own identity along with Sandy. You will feel that much more solid in yourself when you have finished this book.
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