Finding Lisa by Sigrid Macdonald
Tara Richards is unhappy with her job as a rehabilitation nurse and disenchanted with her marriage, but lacks the courage to make a major life change. When her best friend Lisa disappears, Tara’s life is thrown into turmoil. Has Lisa jeopardized her sobriety by going on a drinking binge or is she hiding the news that she may be pregnant from her partner Ryan, who has a history of battering, and it’s not his baby? Lisa is her rock, her confidant, her reality check. Tara can’t live without her. Despite the near paralysis of bad hair days and her dread of turning forty, Tara joins a massive search to look for her friend in conjunction with the police, her colorful women’s collective, Lisa’s old-world Italian parents, and a twenty-four-year-old man Tara finds particularly captivating.
Finding Lisa explores diverse themes such as missing women, victims of domestic violence, female friendships, addiction, midlife crisis, and unrequited love. With pathos and humor, the story delves into the inner world of a quirky and likable Canadian woman whose life is about to be irrevocably changed by her best friend’s disappearance.
I really love books that have a strong, yet unique protagonist and therefore I was delighted to be introduced to Tara. Tara tells us this story in her own words and lets us in to her deepest, and sometimes dark, thoughts. She’s a great character with lots of quirks! I laughed out loud when she tells us her feelings are hurt because Monday (the pet dog) enjoys licking the sofa just as much as he enjoys licking her hand. There are lots of one-liners like this that help to keep this rather serious story buoyant and upbeat.
Packed with facts about missing people and domestic violence it is clear to see the author has great knowledge about these issues, and touches on them with careful consideration and a raw honesty that touched me. I thought I was going to read a story about finding one’s self, with a look at how we reach middle age and deal with dissatisfaction. And, at first that’s what I saw. The woman next door, approaching forty and not happy with what she sees in the mirror. Brilliant touch by Sigrid Macdonald to have the running saga of the eternal bad-hair-day reflecting externally what was going on in Tara’s mind and spirit. However, there was such a lot more to this story.
Finding Lisa is a powerful and compelling book about relationships. Four people fill most of Tara’s life. Her best friend Lisa, with their honesty and secret sharing; her husband Mark, who seems to have faded into the background; her son Devon, (this was probably my favorite) which moves from a totally funny, teenage-to-mother stereo type relationship into something moving and real. And lastly, there’s Alain… the young man in the store that has caught Tara’s attention and affections. He is such a sweet character in this story.
One evening Tara is having a conversation with her best friend Lisa, the next morning Lisa is missing and the search begins. In the two weeks that follow, Tara will go through a lifetime of emotions. What’s happened to Lisa? The shocking truth is not revealed until the very end and it will have you sitting on the end of your chair. Gripping, compelling and a darn good read. Finding Lisa by Sigrid Macdonald comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.
Reviewed by T N Traynor for Chick Lit Café.