So Much Love, the debut novel, by Rebecca Rosenblum follows a small town when a young woman (Catherine) vanishes. As life goes on and people begin to adjust to their lives without her, her outer circle of acquaintances and people closest to her experience devastating loss and incredible resiliency.
This novel was completely unlike anything I have every read; I would categorize this one as a contemporary thriller. Intense subject matter collides with strong prose and character relationships to create an intimate look into one woman’s captivity and all of those left behind. This is not your fast paced, run of the mill style thriller; instead, Rosenblum creates a slow burn that will have you sucked in.
To be completely honest, I found the narrative style incredibly confusing. The novel goes back in forth between multiple characters, multiple time periods and intersecting story lines. Some of the characters are very close to Catherine and some of them barely knew her, but Rosenblum creates a brilliant character study that explores the disappearance as a collective issue instead of an isolated event. It was an extremely new perspective for a captivity novel. Instead of hearing only through the eyes of the abducted party, we hear the perspectives from everyone else.
There were no bells and whistles in this story, and this in part, could be why this one chilled me. Catherine was a regular person when she was targeted for no reason. There is no deep character study from the captor providing his insight into her abduction; purely random and disturbing, this could truly happen to anyone. I was impressed with this approach to the story. It really did leave me with a pit in my stomach.
Overall, although the execution was slightly confusing for me, I did enjoy my experience with this read and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a twist on the classic captivity story (think Room or Baby Doll…but slower paced!). And, it’s a Canadian novel, so, obviously, I was all about it!