Saturday, October 11, 2014

Evidence of Things Not Seen--Lindsey Lane

Title: Evidence of Things Not Seen
Author: Lindsey Lane
Publisher: Farrar Strauss Giroux/Macmillan, 2014.
Pages: 240 p.
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None

Tommy Smythe is a strange boy who is obsessed with physics but cannot relate to his classmates. One day he disappears, leaving behind just his red motorbike and his cryptic journal full of notes about parallel universes and alternate dimensions. Tommy's classmates help search for him but most believe he found a way to cross over into another dimension. No one knows for sure but as long as the truth is never discovered, it remains a possibility.

Tommy's story is told through multiple points of view, some from his classmates and neighbors and others from strangers just passing through town. Each chapter is from a different perspective but they all center around a piece of land called the "pull-out" and relate to Tommy's disappearance. Some chapters are first person narratives (people who knew Tommy) and some are written in third person (people who find objects he has left behind) but all are in present tense. Each is dated with how long Tommy has been missing. While the tense can be jarring to read, it does help add to the sense that Tommy is missing and his story is ongoing. Readers looking for clear-cut answers and conclusions will be disappointed. The real story is not Tommy's to tell, it is in the lives of all the people left behind. Evidence of Things Not Seen is more of a short story collection with Tommy and the pull-out as a unifying thread than a mystery novel and will take a special reader to truly appreciate it.

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