The Novel

The Sweet Relief
of Missing Children

*Shortlisted for the 2011 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize*

*Winner of the 2012 Maine Literary Award in Fiction*

In New York City, a girl called Leonora vanishes without a trace. Years earlier and miles upstate, Goldie, a wild, negligent mother, searches for a man to help raise her precocious son, Paul, who later discovers that the only way to save his soul is to run away. As the narrative moves back and forth in time, we find deeper interconnections between these stories and growing clues about Leonora—this missing girl whose face looks out from telephone poles and billboards—whom one character will give anything to save.

At the heart of this mysterious debut rests a singular, discomfiting truth: The need of children to be free of their parents is no stronger than their parents’ need to be free of their children.

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