3 out of 4 stars
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Finding Sarah is a fiction novel, authored by Paul Walker, about the mysterious disappearance of a woman named Sarah Mason. The novel contains different, and sometimes overlapping, timelines involving diverse characters. The chief characters are Ola, Sarah’s daughter; Jack Mason, Sarah’s husband; and Matt, Sarah’s grandson.
The story centers on Sarah, a mother of two who had disappeared about thirty-five years ago and was never found, and her grandson, Matt. There is equally a good deal of focus on Jack, who encounters financial difficulties in business and deteriorating health that incidentally coincide with Sarah’s disappearance. Jack is old, diseased, and presumably close to death, so Matt’s curiosity steers him to investigate Sarah’s mysterious disappearance before Jack dies. The story chronicles the perspectives of Ola, Jack, and Matt at various points spanning three decades, each timeline offering a compelling clue to the solution of the mystery.
The book is well-constructed, and the timelines are properly ordered. The storyline, which is arguably my favorite aspect of the book, is indeed strong, relatable, and harmonious. It contains a good deal of suspense that compels the reader to complete the tale. The book also employs a laudable level of imagery and descriptive input, which keeps the mind of the reader creatively engaged as the plot unfolds. Furthermore, virtually all the characters are quite active and satisfactorily depicted, so there is no hint of redundancy with them in the story.
Certain aspects of the narration involve too much detail about rather mundane things, however, providing the possibility of making some characters lost in a sea of information. A stronger emphasis on the storyline in those aspects would have been reasonably better. In addition, while the editing is quite commendable, there are certain errors in spelling and punctuation. Perhaps my most profound disappointment is that the story seems to promise to end on a dramatic, emotional note, but there is simply not enough of that—it concludes far too steeply. I would have preferred a lengthier story (with more insight into the events shortly beyond the end).
All things considered, Finding Sarah is a thriller in its own right. I give it a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It does not obtain a 4-star rating because of the errors I perceived as well as the fashion it ends in. Nevertheless, it will undoubtedly be a good, and somewhat enjoyable read, for anyone who enjoys thrilling and suspenseful novels.
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