ARC Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos

Book Blurb

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life.

Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.


Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Imogene’s father has disappeared. She and her step mother Lindy are trying to figure out where he could have gone. Lindy is beside herself with worry. Immy knows more than she lets on. Her father left his half of the stone heart behind for her. She believes he went in search of her mother. Immy knows if she finds her she will find her father.

She is now on a mission. She doesn’t have much to go on. She decides to start at the hospital where she was born. She partners up with her best friend, Jessa. Jessa helps her search the hospital records and visit the cousin she never knew she had. Jessa’s brother and Immy’s crush, Chad, takes a turn helping her find out information. Immy becomes the detective like in her father’s books. She is getting closer she can feel it.

She refuses to believe her father is having a bad episode. She truly believes he is helping her mother. Unfortunately she is surprised at what she finds. Her mother isn’t what she expected. Her life isn’t what she expected. However Immy figures out where her father is and goes on her own to find him.

This book was nothing what I expected. The beginning was a bit confusing with the story of her grandmother and the stone heart. You learn quickly that her mother and her father suffer from severe depression. Imogene, herself, doesn’t really fit in or doesn’t even try to be social. She keeps to herself, even when she figured things out about her dad and her mom. Her character is such a loner.

I liked how Jessa wanted to help and refused no for an answer. She helped pull Imogene from her shell which was nice to see. You do feel for Immy though. Her family life is complicated. Her mother left when she was little and Imogene was left to deal with her father’s bad and good days.

Depression was definitely a big part of this story and Imogene’s life. I wondered if part of her problem was she had issues with it also. The ending was positive but not necessarily the happiest. I give this story a 3 out of 5.

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