Title: Now You See Her
Author: Joy Fielding
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5
Marcy Taggart has been living in a rut ever since her daughter’s disappearance a few years before. Everyone else believes that Devon is dead, but in her heart, Marcy believes that her daughter is still alive. Since Devon’s death, Marcy and her husband have drifted apart, and Marcy receives the unwelcome news that her husband wants a divorce just before their 25th wedding anniversary. On an impulse, Marcy chooses to go alone on the vacation that was so supposed to celebrate the happy occasion, to Ireland. One day, sitting at a pub in Cork, Ireland, Marcy sees a glimpse of someone she knows is Devon, and decides she needs to stay in Ireland to find her daughter.
Now You See Her is a suspenseful book that is successful because of its creative characters. Marcy herself is broken in a lot of ways. She is still reeling from Devon’s death, especially because they had such a tumultuous relationship. She feels responsible for Devon’s choice to disappear/commit suicide. However, at the same time her guilt threatens to overwhelm her, Marcy is certain that Devon chose to disappear and start over, rather than take her own life.
What complicates things for the reader, though, is that Marcy has seen Devon before. In restaurants, shops, and all around her, Marcy sees her missing daughter. Though she can’t understand why no one will support her in her quest to find her daughter in Cork, the reader understands their skepticism. Will Marcy find her daughter? Is Devon alive, or did she actually commit suicide? Fielding takes the reader on a bit of a roller coaster ride when it comes to answering these questions, and it really drives the narrative forward. Admittedly, the twists at the end require some suspension of disbelief, but overall, it is an entertaining novel.
Marcy meets a lot of interesting people on her journey, and since her family won’t support her in this search, she begins to rely on them. Some are strange, others are endearing, and one in particular really creeped me out with his stalker vibes; one of Fielding’s strengths is writing strong, bold characters with distinct personalities. Whenever Marcy’s search seems to start dragging, it is the characters that the reader relies on for entertainment.
Now You See Her isn’t a typical mystery; the interesting characters often overshadow Marcy’s overall mission. In the end, it’s a quick, entertaining read that does provoke deep questions about motherhood and trust. Readers will sympathize with Marcy’s guilt about her impatience with Devon before her suicide/disappearance, and it makes Marcy’s unrelenting need to find her easy to understand. If your book club is interested in mysteries, this would make a good pick because it’s easy to read, yet still provides fodder for discussion in the character of Marcy.