First line: You know, Doc, you’re not the first shrink I’ve seen since I got back.
As a general rule, I try to write a book’s review very soon after I read it. I imagine most people do the same thing, because it’s easier to remember how a book made you feel if you only finished it 15 minutes ago. I wish I’d stuck to that rule with Still Missing, but I didn’t, because I am a lamewad. So, okay, I don’t remember exactly if I cried or not while I read it, but I do remember enjoying it, and that counts for something!
Annie is a 30-something year-old woman who recently escaped from a man who kidnapped and held her against her will in a remote cabin for a year. Her kidnapper was a man with some pretty crazy mommy-issues and some messed up worldviews. He forced Annie to follow strict rules that dictated her wardrobe, chores, mealtimes, and even when she was allowed to use the bathroom or drink water. I don’t do well when it comes to talking about rape, but yes, that happened too.
Each chapter or section is representative of one of Annie’s therapy sessions, starting with her greeting her therapist and following along as she talks about the horrors she endured in the cabin. But as much as the book is about what happened at the cabin, it’s about Annie’s life after the cabin. As the story of her recovery progresses, Annie just can’t catch a break, and she finds that the nightmare isn’t quite over.
Throughout the book, I found myself struggling to like Annie. She was uncaring, selfish, bitchy, and she acted like she was the only person who had ever been kidnapped. I felt bad for her, but I had a pretty hard time liking her and I think that’s what Chevy Stevens wanted when she created Annie. If I’m right, then wow… Stevens did an amazing job. I imagine anyone would behave the way Annie did if they’d been through what she went through because it’s a perfectly human response. Annie’s attitude shows that she’s been hardened by the experience, and it makes her feel real. I mean, what woman would emerge from a year in captivity with a mile on her face and a spring in her step?
The time Annie spent in the cabin was a bit formulaic, but I don’t blame Stevens. There are a lot of books about this type of situation and there are only so many things that can happen to a woman being held against her will. Overall, it was a very good book that stands apart from others like it because it addressed Annie’s recovery and added a nice big surprise at the end.