Thursday, April 2, 2020

"The Missing Sister"

Originally from Sacramento, Elle Marr explored the urban wilderness of Southern California before spending three wine-and-cheese-filled years in France. There, she earned a master’s degree from the Sorbonne University in Paris, and discovered her love of writing novels.

Currently, she lives and writes outside Portland, Oregon, with her husband, son, and one very demanding feline; she is hard at work on her second thriller.

Marr applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Missing Sister, and reported the following:
From page 69:
The poetic sound distracts me as he pulls me to his lips. What starts out as a soft kiss deepens, becomes a passionate embrace; in the background, a street performer with an accordion plays a haunting song, and I lose myself for a moment. How long has it been since I’ve connected with someone? After my parents died, I collapsed, isolating myself in my childhood home, unable, until recently, to muster the enthusiasm to continue pursuing medical school, set adrift even from my own sister, who’d lashed out at me. I’ve been craving connection with someone even if my practical side has never acknowledged it.
This paragraph from page 69 is representative of The Missing Sister because of its snapshot of grief. Three years after the deaths of her parents, Shayna remains locked in mourning, unable to move forward. Similarly, she’s still grieving her relationship with her twin sister, a loss which occurred when Angela refused to come home from Paris for their parents’ funeral. When Shayna arrives in Paris, seeking resolution from her sister’s death, she’s hoping for the closure she never obtained. That desire for answers—for validation of choices that Shayna made and can never take back—is what drives the entire plot. Grief shows up long after we think that we’re done processing it, and often leads us to act in ways we don’t recognize of ourselves. To entertain notions of what if my loved one hadn’t died? and how would my world be different if they were still here? When the possibility arises, that Shayna might be able to answer those questions, she pursues them with a frenzy she didn’t know she possessed.
Visit Elle Marr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue