This is the second book about a missing child that I have read this week.
The prologue narrates how a little girl decides to go into the sea to wash a shell she has found and wants to give her grandmother. Yet, the sea level rises and even though she tries to call her parents, they can’t hear her, and then we are led to understand that the sea swallows the little girl.
Then we are introduced to Maggie Granger, and we learn that she is three-year-old Olivia. Maggie and her family were on holiday in Cornwall. The day Olivia went missing, they were on the beach, and Olivia was in a whining mood. So after much whining, Maggie was getting angry and let Olivia go to find her father and brother, who were exploring the rock pools. That was the last time Maggie saw her daughter. Nobody knows what could have happened, but the most logical explanation is that Olivia went into the sea and drowned. Maggie is tortured by guilt, especially when her husband Colin blames her bluntly, and he even takes their son to his mother and also leaves. I have to say that Maggie made a mistake when she let Olivia out of her sight. Olivia was just three, and Maggie should have known better than let Olivia wander alone. Yet, I think Colin has been cruel and unfair to her. Yes, she made a mistake, but blaming her won’t bring Olivia back. Leaving his wife in the most terrible time of her life proves that Colin’s love is quite shallow. Loving someone when things are going well is easy, but when the chips are down, it is when we have to prove our love, and Colin has proved that his love doesn’t endure storms like this is. I feel so sorry for Maggie!
Apart from the Grangers, we get to know Phillip Marshal. Phillip is in America as his grandmother, the woman who raised him, is in hospital with terminal cancer. We learn that Phillip is married to Jennifer, and they had a child Hailey who should be five. Yet, something must have happened, and I imagine that Hailey died. Phillip is worried about Jennifer because after whatever happened to Hailey, she was – comprehensively – depressed and in a black mood, but things are going better. Phillip thinks that Jennifer should travel to America to be with him and his grandmother. Yet, Jennifer calls him to tell him that she has found a new house for them to move, and while he is in America, she plans to get the house ready.
I have the suspicion that Jennifer might have Olivia. I don’t know how it happened, but Jennifer must have been on the beach that day and saw Olivia. Maybe she was on the jetski that Olivia saw and took the little girl away. That is why Jennifer doesn’t want her husband to return to her. Phillip won’t be away forever, so what will happen then? I have no reason to believe that Olivia is alive, but I imagine that there is a reason why Phillip and Jennifer are in the novel. I really hope that Maggie gets her child back. Poor Maggie! She feels everybody blames her, even her mother, and she feels so lonely. Not only does she have to go through the hell of accepting that Olivia might have grown, but also the refusal of those she thought loved her.