The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
Publication Date: January 26, 2016 by Balzer & Bray
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
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 Imogene was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”
Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’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. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.
Rebecca Podos’s debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us, and the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.
I rarely read mystery books because I prefer swoon over suspense, but the blurb of this book really got me.
I was so happy when my request for this book was granted. I was so excited to read it. We were going to Vietnam back then for a vacation and I took this book with me!
It was a quick read. Its fast pacing added to the thrill of reading it. My anticipation for answers grew as I turn the pages.
It felt like I was with Imogene as she went to find her father. Gathering the clues was fun! But as Imogene put the pieces together, I found myself in her shoes. I was as shocked as she was. Apparently, the ability of seeing meaning has its ups and downs. You get something deeper by going beyond what everybody else was looking at, but the implications of what you have may yield something you could end up hating. Knowledge has its costs.
I love Imogene’s determination. She refused to believe what everybody else was saying because she knew something they didn’t. Because she holds something no one else had. She fought for that, and never gave up until she reached the elusive answer.
I believe that Sidonie went for what she truly desired even if it meant sacrificing something she never wanted to lose.
I admire Lindy for her strength. She did her best for her family. Sometimes it may appear she was trying too hard, but she chose to be in the family, and it’s not something she wanted to take back.
Joshua is a character that remained a mystery to me. I couldn’t figure him out. To me, it felt like he just acted on impulse. And maybe that’s brought upon by love and loss. So I guess I’ll just leave him be.
The Mystery of Hollow Places is a story about one’s identity – how we seek answers to the questions that haunt our thoughts at night, how we long for being complete, for feeling whole. This is about family, and how blood doesn’t define who we are even if it makes up a huge part of us. Because there’s that little one that beats for us every day. Because we are who we choose to be.
Final Rating: 4/5
We know more about ourselves than we think.