They Found Her,
by Kimberly McCreight, follows in the footsteps of her first
novel, Reconstructing Amelia. Both novels deal with
motherhood and issues affecting women today centered around
a mystery, a "who done it." There are quite a few
serious issues that are dealt with in this book from death
to new life, physical abuse to mental abuse, as well as handling
The story is character-based, where all the occupants of a
town appear to be dysfunctional. It is told from the perspective
of three Ridgedale, New Jersey, women who must come to grips
with a shocking discovery, the body of an unidentified newborn
found in the woods. The suspense in the novel is putting together
the pieces of the puzzle to find who left the baby and why.
Molly is the journalist assigned to cover the case, which
in many ways becomes self-therapy, since she is trying to
overcome a late term miscarriage. Through her investigation
she discovers buried secrets of the town and its occupants.
The novel is written in alternating viewpoints between Molly,
Sandy, and Barbara. "Dysfunctional" is a nice way
of referring to these townspeople. Molly suffers from depression
and is attending psychiatric sessions while investigating
this case. Barbara on the surface appears to be the perfect
mom, yet is dissatisfied with her life and insecure about
the fidelity of her husband. Sandy has dropped out of school,
mainly to take care of her alcoholic, druggie mother, Jenna.
Besides these characters there are some minor ones, including
a couple having trouble conceiving, and a possible sexual
predator. McCreight skillfully links these characters together,
not only with the tragedy, but also with their personal lives,
creating an enjoyable read.
On a side note, the author adds "comments" to Molly's
articles. McCreight did this for effect, hoping to show how
the township handles the news of an infant found dead. She
noted, "I wanted the readers to get a broader sense of
the town and to understand the context. Although I did want
to also show that these anonymous comments can be very shocking
and is similar to a lynch mob mentality. Being anonymous allows
people to make more aggressive comments. I am hoping that
people ask themselves questions about their own lives."
She gave a heads up about her next book, a young adult novel
that will be part of a trilogy. She calls it "speculative
fiction" because of the "what if" element.
The first book in the series has a girl struggling with grief
over losing her mother and then unexpectantly finds her good
friend missing. It will deal with understanding how female
intuition can be a tool for solving a case.