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Invisible: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – December 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Dana Carlson thought she had left Black Bear behind. The sleepy little town in northern Minnesota couldn’t compete with Chicago, with its rush of busy people and the skyscrapers that Dana demolishes for a living. Since Dana’s falling out with her sister, Julie, Dana hasn’t been in touch with anyone from Black Bear. When an unexpected phone call from Julie’s daughter, Peyton, reveals that Julie is desperately ill with kidney disease, Dana drops everything to return to the tiny town. Although Dana doesn’t arrive in time to save Julie, she builds a relationship with Peyton and takes on a crusade very dear to Julie’s heart. A layered, nuanced story of family, forgiveness, and rediscovered memories, this is a warm and emotional novel. It is voiced by Dana and Peyton in alternating chapters, and Buckley excels at offering two very different viewpoints of the same situation. The thrilling story of Dana’s crusade will remind readers of the best parts of the movie Erin Brockovich, and fans of Deborah Copaken Kogan and Fanny Blake are sure to enjoy this tender, tautly paced novel. --Stephanie Turza


“Beautifully written and unsettling . . . leaves you with a lingering sense of dread long after you close the last page.”—Chevy Stevens
“Family secrets, environmental crises, complex characters, and lyrical, thoughtful prose: What’s not to love here? This richly layered story will remain with you well past the final page.”—Emilie Richards, author of One Mountain Away
“Carla Buckley once again reveals the frightening things we can’t see. Invisible made me question everything surrounding us in our homes and our neighborhoods. Do we really know what we’re touching? Do we even know our own families? This chilling book reminds us of what’s important in our lives.”—Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters

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Product Details

  • Series: Random House Reader's Circle
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780440246053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440246053
  • ASIN: 0440246059
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,579 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By kimbacaffeinate on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
This novel offered so many different elements; compassion, addiction, mystery, a cluster of unexplained illness, and an emotional journey. I became swept up in the tale, the characters and discovering the truth.

The prologue left me baffled as we jump ahead sixteen years but the author slowly revealed things and the pieces began to click into place.We meet Dana Carlson a demolition expert who is in the middle of taking down an abandoned building when she gets a phone call from Black Bear, Minnesota. The call is from Peyton; her sister's child, the one she has not seen since her birth sixteen years ago. She learns her sister is dying and after all these years she heads back to Black Bear and the secrets she has buried there. The tale that unfolds has several stories lines and each kept me entangled as Dana confronts her past and races to protect the people of Black Bear.

The tale is told from the POV's of Dana and that of sixteen year old Peyton. Dana is complicated in the beginning and her motives unclear, but as we slide back and catch glimpses of her past I came to respect and adore her. I will not give things away, but Dana is one tough cookie, who loves unconditionally with great sacrifice. Her only shortcoming in my opinion was that she put the needs of everyone else first and it cost her and her family. Peyton despite some rocky times has grown up secure in the fact that her parents love her, she is compassionate about fish, and at the beginning of each of her chapters she tells us about a species of fish. Read them because they hint to her thoughts and emotions. I liked Peyton, she is kind of a loner and I became emotionally attached to her. Peyton's emotions were raw and felt real. I thought Buckley did a great job of developing the characters.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PattyLouise VINE VOICE on January 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
Carla Buckley

My the point...

Two sisters with a 16 year old secret have not seen each other in years. Tragedy brings one sister back home...and opens up a ton of secrets.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Hmmm...this was one of those lovely books...that begins with one old secret and just sort of meanders around to reveal quite a few old secrets. There is dysfunction and anger and sadness and it's always a great story when one of the main characters has been gone for a while and then comes home abruptly. This is the case with Dana. She hasn't seen her sister in years, she's been an absentee aunt, but a phone call from her niece Peyton brings her home. Her sister is ill...possibly dying...Dana has major issues with her own she heads home to the town where she grew up. She is not really welcomed by her niece or her brother in law and once she begins digging into why so many people in the town are ill...she is even less welcome.

What I loved about this book...

I loved the characters and their interactions with each other. There were lots of emotional tirades and lots of secrets in this town. The plant that was making people ill was also the life of the town...almost everyone worked there. People had strong feelings about Dana and believed that she was a trouble maker. I also loved the writings about fish at the beginning of Peyton's chapters...she loved the ocean.

What I did not love...

There really wasn't anything that I didn't like about this book. I had a difficult time putting it down. It had great short chapters that sped by. I was caught up in it and literally read it in a day. Whew!

Final thoughts...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Invisible by Carla Buckley

Secrets and lies...this family is filled with them. Some are worse than others are, but all of them will pull at your emotions.

Julie is facing kidney disease and she and her younger sister Dana, who has been estranged for years, is now needed. In fact, Dana has never even met her niece. Now Julie needs a kidney match from Dana, and Peyton - her daughter - gets in touch with her Aunt Dana and that starts an avalanche of problems. When Julie dies-she leaves behind clues that she may have been looking into a mystery of what has made so many people in this town ill and the crops start to fail.

This is an emotionally charged novel leaving you with tons of questions and written in the beautiful style I have come to expect from Ms Buckley. Written in a lovely flowing manner, this novel combines several genres. You will find some mystery and suspense, a bit of `chick lit' and some police drama.

It is told from 2 of the main characters points of view - Dana and Peyton - and the age and style differences between them really makes for interesting reading. This novel has so much going on that at times it can almost feel a little thin. However, Ms Buckley manages to reign that in and keep the reader enthralled with the story.

Fully fleshed, vivid and very complicated characters dominate this story with the relationships taking center stage and the mystery taking a bit of a back seat.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Always Reading! on August 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Carla Buckley's books, but this is not her best. It is a story about a town being affected by nanotechnology, but it is not as compelling as her other books. She is usually so good at making her characters sympathetic and real, and that didn't happen here. It is almost like she tried to put several stories together and they are not complementary. It was not believable that the main character, Dana, would never contact her sister, given how close they were and the experiences they had shared. All of that being said, I will always read a book by Carla Buckley, this just isn't her best effort.
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