Saturday, January 21, 2012

Table of Contents: The Sweet Relief of Missing Children

Author: Sarah Braunstein
Publisher/Year: Norton & Company, 2011
Synopsis: In New York City, a girl called Leonora vanishes without a trace. Years earlier and miles upstate, Goldie, a wild, negligent mother, searches for a man to help raise her precocious son, Paul, who later discovers that the only way to save his soul is to run away. As the narrative moves back and forth in time, we find deeper interconnections between these stories and growing clues about Leonora—this missing girl whose face looks out from telephone poles and billboards—whom one character will give anything to save.

Read an Excerpt


Boston Globe
"More than discomfiting, “Sweet Relief’’ is unrelenting, showing Braunstein to be a skilled writer who uses her deft pen to depict a joyless view of life in which the best that can be aspired to is anesthetized survival. She does it beautifully, working the reader in slowly to these interconnected lives. But it is empty artistry, an exercise in showy manipulation, and as heartless as Leonora’s abductors."

"Through random encounters and elliptical dialogue, Braunstein locates the pain in these people’s lives and makes it shimmer."

The Portland Press Herald
"The book is brave and daring."
"Sweet Relief is that rare book: a page-turner in which the plot is secondary to the brilliant, visceral portrayal of its characters."


  1. NEAT BLOG...NEW FOLLOWER....stopping by from the Blog Hop.


    1. Welcome Elizabeth! Thanks for the feedback; the blog is still a work-in-progress but enjoying it now that I am back at it again.