The Fall of Lisa Bellow
by Susan Perabo


Overview - The breakout novel from the critically acclaimed author of the short story collections Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do --when a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.  Read more...

 
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More About The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo
 
 
 
Overview
The breakout novel from the critically acclaimed author of the short story collections Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do--when a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, a fellow student and witness to the crime copes with the tragedy in an unforgettable way.

What happens to the girl left behind?

A masked man with a gun enters a sandwich shop in broad daylight, and Meredith Oliver suddenly finds herself ordered to the filthy floor, where she cowers face to face with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow, the most popular girl in her eighth grade class. The minutes tick inexorably by, and Meredith lurches between comforting the sobbing Lisa and imagining her own impending death. Then the man orders Lisa Bellow to stand and come with him, leaving Meredith the girl left behind.

After Lisa's abduction, Meredith spends most days in her room. As the community stages vigils and searches, Claire, Meredith's mother, is torn between relief that her daughter is alive, and helplessness over her inability to protect or even comfort her child. Her daughter is here, but not.

Like Everything I Never Told You and Room, The Fall of Lisa Bellow is edgy and original, a hair-raising exploration of the ripple effects of an unthinkable crime. It is a dark, beautifully rendered, and gripping novel about coping, about coming-of-age, and about forgiveness. It is also a beautiful illustration of how one family, broken by tragedy, finds healing.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781476761466
  • ISBN-10: 1476761469
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: March 2017
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Family Life - General

 
BookPage Reviews

A dangerous obsession

Meredith Oliver is the girl who got left behind. A normal teenager semi-successfully navigating the shark-infested waters of middle school, she is in a sandwich shop when the most popular girl in school is kidnapped at gunpoint. “Get up,” the man says to Lisa Bellow, who dutifully follows him out the door. Meredith, frozen with fear, doesn’t even see the man’s face or car.

Meredith is sure Lisa doesn’t know her, even though they’ve gone to school together since elementary school and their lockers are next to each other. The most contact they’ve had in recent years was when Lisa directed Meredith—in true mean-girl style—to sit differently on her cafeteria chair so her butt didn’t hang over the edge.

The Oliver family has already seen its share of tragedy—older son Evan was a promising baseball player until an errant fly ball ended his dreams. Their parents, Claire and Mark, stagger under the weight of the kidnapping, simultaneously thrilled that Meredith was spared by the kidnapper and guilty that another girl is likely gone forever.

“No, she didn’t care one bit who Lisa Bellow was; the only important thing about Lisa Bellow, to Claire, was that she, not Meredith, was the girl who was taken. Certainly it would be better if she were found alive, better for Meredith, but all that really mattered was that Meredith was alive. Meredith was safe. Meredith, her baby, her baby girl, was down the hall.”

Once Lisa is taken, Meredith begins envisioning Lisa trapped in a dark, cold apartment with her abductor and abuser. The visions soon morph as Meredith grows desperate to reach Lisa before it’s too late. She retreats into her own mind, searching for clues that might lead her to Lisa.

The second novel from writer Susan Perabo (best known for her short stories) is wrenching, a dark yet beautifully told story of family, fear and grief. In the end, the question isn’t whether Meredith can save her classmate, but whether the Olivers can save Meredith.

 

This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews