Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
The Missing Girl is a collection of very dark short stories, some only a few pages long. This subject matter isn’t what anyone wants to think about and I wish was not a fact of life or part of our world. It’s about the girls who go missing or who are assaulted and left with little or no memory of the event. These girls are stalked or in the wrong place at the wrong time and this is where the first story takes us. A girl catches a ride and becomes a statistic on a missing person flyer. This book is a hard read depending on your level of emotional fortitude. Not to say that any story about missing or assaulted women is an easy read. Your personal experiences may make it harder for you than for others so consider this a fair warning. Some of these shorts expose the monsters that lurk in the shadows waiting for the right opportunity. Others are bold and confident in their world and take what they want. Reading The Missing Girl made me feel a sick and dirty. The stories feel like each and every one has happened instead of being a piece of fiction. This is the level of realism the author brings to her writing as she describes scenes or moments in time that feel absolutely real and horrific. More than one of these stories was a gut punch, many just made me feel that being a guy is a crime. The writing was very well done with its ability to cause that kind of emotional response. Maybe this was the goal, to make it hard to ignore this dark stain on our world.
Length: 32 Pages
Publisher: Black Lawrence Press
Release date: September 19, 2017
A driver lures a young girl into his car. A woman recalls a not-so- innocent childhood game. A man reveals much more than he’ll ever tell the police. After a high school girl is murdered, everyone has an opinion. A girl wakes beside a dumpster to find slut scrawled on her body—and that’s not the worst thing that happened last night. A girl speaks up after a crime—but is she telling the truth? And could you blame her if she’s not?
The girls who populate Jacqueline Doyle’s THE MISSING GIRL have vanished. Or their childhoods have gone missing. In Doyle’s collection of flash fictions, the voicelessness of the missing is palpable, the girls’ stories whispered into a vacuum or recounted from the point of view of a predator, murderer, or voyeur. Violence lurks below the surface here, haunts the back pages of newspapers, takes up residence in your dreams.
Jacqueline Doyle’s flash has appeared or will soon appear in Hotel Amerika, Quarter After Eight, [PANK], Monkeybicycle, Sweet: A Literary Confection, The Café Irreal, Post Road, The Pinch, andNothing to Declare: A Guide to the Flash Sequence (White Pine Press, 2016). She has published creative nonfiction and fiction in The Gettysburg Review, Southern Humanities Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, Superstition Review, Confrontation, South Dakota Review, and many other literary journals and anthologies. Her work has earned three Pushcart nominations, three Best of the Net nominations, and Notable Essay citations in Best American Essays 2013 and Best American Essays 2015. She lives with her husband and son in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is a professor of English at California State University, East Bay.