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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 Book 244: INVISIBLE Review


Invisible by Carla Buckley
ISBN: 9780440246053 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780345532169 (ebook)
ASIN: B008C82P8M (Kindle ebook)
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Bantam


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.

Dana Carlsen has made a series of unfortunate decisions in her life. Most of these weren't very well thought out and have resulted in somewhat dire circumstances. The first bad decision she made was a teenager when she ran away from her sister and niece, her only surviving family members, when she was seventeen. A series of rather dead-end jobs and a lack of training resulted in her accepting a business partnership with a somewhat unscrupulous man. Her business is under investigation and there aren't any funds in any account because her partner keeps using business money to bail out his family members overseas. Just when it doesn't seem like things could get any worse she receives a phone call that has her leaving her business and the investigation to return to her sister, Julie, and their hometown. Unfortunately her return is too late for reconciliation with Julie as she has died of acute kidney failure.


Dana finds that much has changed in her hometown. Her boyfriend is now a high school science teacher. The local bad boy has become the largest employer in the town. Her brother-in-law still can't stand her and apparently neither can her niece Peyton. It doesn't help that she hadn't called or returned in almost seventeen years. The death of her beloved sister Julie is just one in a long line of shocks that Dana must face. She knows that she can't make up for her absence but she tries to continue her sister's research into why so many people in such a small town are dealing with kidney failure. But Dana's research may put her family and hometown at risk. Obviously she couldn't save Julie, but can she save others including her niece Peyton before it's too late?

Invisible seems to make reference to many different things, but the first that comes to mind is Dana's invisibility with her family due to her prolonged absence. She may have had good reasons to disappear but it has taken quite a toll on her loved ones, especially her niece. The second reference may be to the invisible nano particles used in the manufacturing of body lotion. Dana seems to believe that these invisible particles may be the cause of the increased kidney problems in Black Bear but she's having a hard time convincing anyone else of this possibility. And finally "invisible" may refer to Peyton's feelings toward her father and her aunt. Peyton wants to be strong for her father, but she's beginning to feel as if she doesn't count since he's resumed his drinking. She also feels that her aunt has ignored her and her mom for all these years so they obviously don't matter. Invisible seems to be a coming-of-age story for both Dana and Peyton, mixed with family drama, psychological thrills, and a bit of an industrial-environmental mystery. The beginning of Invisible seemed to go a little slow with the constantly changing voices between Peyton and Dana, but I quickly became used to these dual perspectives and finished reading it with few interruptions. If you're looking for a well-written contemporary fiction read this winter, then I heartily recommend Invisible by Carla Buckley.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."




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