When Sandy Shortt was just ten years old in Ireland, a local schoolmate went missing with no trace. Something about this disappearance haunted Sandy for most of her life, leading her to search frantically for any lost or missing item. Unlike her name. Sandy is a tall, dark haired beauty on a mission, and this mission leads to a land of unknowns and fateful curiosities. As Sandy grew up, she joined the Irish Garda to search for missing persons, but her drive to work overtime, led her to leave the Garda and start her own missing-persons agency. While en route to meet a new client, Sandy finds herself missing and finally discovers where all the missing things go.
Cecilia Ahern did a fantastic job with this book. Although at times the book dragged on, I really liked the concept and the new world she created in this novel. In the land of the missing, Sandy meets a number of people that she had been searching for her whole life and some point, starts to form closure with her past. There is a particular humor in Irish writing, one with I experienced earlier with The Lacemakers of Glenmara. Its a wry, ironic comedic timing, and Cecilia Ahern’s novel is full of it. Sandy Shortt is a no nonsense type of girl who tries to do her job, while fumbling through life. She has an intersting relationship with her former psychologist from high school that blossoms and dies whenever Sandy inevitably loses something, and it turns into an OCD episode trying to locate the thing. Ahern takes a good look at those that suffer losing a loved one with no answers as to why, or where they went. She tracks their obsession, sleepless nights, but even their eventual progression back into normal life and routine. It definitely makes a person wonder how they would handle having lost a loved one like that. Would you search endlessly? Or accept it as is and go back to normal life, or would you stay stagnant, always hoping and reliving life as if the missing person will show up any minute? The psychology in this book is fascinating, when you look at the handful of characters, from the missing people themselves, to their families reactions and experiences. Niether a sad book, nor a laugh out loud book, No Place Like Here is a great read.A Place Like Here by Cecila Ahern Hyperion, 2008 ISBN 140130964X 352 pages