A woman is missing. Not just a woman, but a woman and her twins. Out of a beautiful, safe neighborhood in Yellow Springs, Ohio – home to Dave Chappelle.
She went missing after having a girls’ night with some of the neighborhood ladies, and no one seems to know where she is. But everyone is interested in finding out: from the intrepid young reporter, publishing an independent neighborhood paper to the only single woman in the neighborhood with a fraught familial relationship to the stay-at-home mother next door who is trying to recover from a traumatic experience in her past.
There’s also, obviously, a detective on the case, and most eyes are pointing at Paul – the missing woman’s estranged husband. He seems to be too concerned about the money that she took with her and less about the children. He seems to be more concerned about shutting down his old life and starting a new one. He seems… off.
I’m a sucker for novels full of nosy neighbors. Maybe it’s growing up in a small town, but something about it rings very true for my experience. Not That I Could Tell had me changing my mind from moment to moment: Is the husband a victim of vicious gossip, or is he a murderer? Is the neighbor across the street melancholy about her dead-end life, or because she knows something more? Is the 13-year-old girl who’s bound and determined to get the scoop really onto something, or does she have an over-active imagination and a penchant for Nancy Drew stories?
This novel deals with issues of trauma, abuse, parenting, marriage, and friendship, and each of the characters is well-rounded and well-written. You get a sense of their life experiences and why each of them act the way they do. It’s a fully realized world, which made it incredibly fun to read.