My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book through NetGalley.
“Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Carla Buckley’s Invisible is a stunning novel of redemption, regret, and the complex ties of familial love.
Growing up, Dana Carlson and her older sister, Julie, are inseparable – Dana the impulsive one, Julie calmer and more nurturing. But then a devastating secret compels Dana to flee from home, not to see or speak to her sister for sixteen years.
When she receives the news that Julie is seriously ill, Dana knows that she must return to their hometown of Black Bear, Minnesota, to try and save her sister. Yet she arrives too late, only to discover that Black Bear has changed, and so have the people in it.
Julie has left behind a shattered teenage daughter, Peyton, and a mystery-what killed Julie may be killing others, too. Why is no one talking about it? Dana struggles to uncover the truth, but no one wants to hear it, including Peyton, who can’t forgive her aunt’s years-long absence. Dana had left to protect her own secrets, but Black Bear has a secret of its own-one that could tear apart Dana’s life, her family, and the whole town.”
The story follows Dana, an explosives expert and Peyton, her niece.
Whilst on her work site one day, Dana receives a distressing call from Peyton asking her to come back to Black Bear – the place Dana swore 16 years before that she would never return to.
Peyton informs her that her (Dana’s) sister, Julie, is ill. Unfortunately Dana doesn’t make it in time and instead comes face-to-face with a very angry 16 year old and Julie’s widowed husband, Frank, who has sunk into old habits in the face of losing his wife.
Unbeknownst to Dana, Julie had for many years suffered with kidney disease and, on returning to Black Bear, whilst trying to break down the walls between herself and Peyton, she discovers that Julie was not the only one suffering from the disease and that there are many people, including children, in the town, who are mysteriously affected. Thus, begin her attempts at unraveling the reason why so many are afflicted and she discovers there is more to nano-technology than meets the eye.
Needless to say, there are some residents in the town who become extremely unhappy with her meddling and the revelation of her secret towards the end will have you reeling in shock.
A really poignant story of deception and chances lost, one in which you will discover that there may be a time when your deepest darkest secrets will come back to haunt you.
Carla Buckley has touched on a very real disease facing a large number of the world’s population today – that of kidney disease. Needless to say when I saw Ms Buckley being likened to Jodie Picoult (whose writing I absolutely love), I was immediately drawn to Invisible and Ms Buckley certainly did not disappoint. She introduces us to a bit of a contentious subject, that of nano-technology – one of which I had never previously read about. Whilst this is a work of fiction, nano-technology is definitely not and, after doing a little research of my own on the internet, I discovered that Scientists continue to debate its future implications. It is interesting to note from one of the articles I read that our country, Australia, was one of the first to act by regulating the exclusion of engineered nanoparticles from certified organic produce.
I really liked this book and found Ms Buckley to have a real flair with her descriptions. I also enjoyed the way in which she introduced Dana’s story in reverse, so that Dana’s journey ends in the first chapter and begins in the last. The characters are well-developed and I could relate to them.
About the Author:
Carla Buckley was born in Washington DC. She has worked in a variety of jobs, including a stint as an assistant press secretary for a US Senator, an analyst with the Smithsonian Institution and a technical writer for a defense contractor. She currently lives in Ohio with her husband and children. The Things That Keep Us Here is her first novel.
This book earns 3 stars from me and I wish to thank both NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group (Bantam Dell) for granting my request to read and review this book.