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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir

Christmas break last year found me at Read It Again, a fantastic used bookstore in my home town of John's Creek. I picked up The Year We Disappeared by Cylin Busby and John Busby on a whim to escape some family time. 

Cylin lives a normal life for a nine-year-old. Her family does their thing in the summer is going great. That is, until her father is shot through his window on the drive to work. It is clearly a hit – her father, a local cop, is known for his take-no-prisoners attitude with the local shady organized crime guys. Suddenly Cylin goes from having the usual childhood mid-1970s freedom to being under 24 hour armed guard, a prisoner in her own home. When the police realize the gunman is still on the loose, the Busby family has to disappear – and fast.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. You know me, anything with crime and I'm sold. Even better? Having to disappear. I found the toggling between Cylin and her father's perspectives to be an interesting storytelling concept. I read in the back of the book an interview with them both where they said they found it interesting that their family story could be remembered so differently depending on where you were standing at the time. Cylin was a child and remembers being confused and frightened, while John remembers being angry and wanting revenge. The use of both of their perspectives allows the reader to understand the shock and pain that occurs when a family member is a victim of the crime.

This was a super great read for my break, and I'm happy it popped up in the used bookstore. It was a different time but still a story that is frightening and raw in its exploration of fear, confusion, and ultimately forgiveness.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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