In his well-received story collection (Things That Fall from the Sky), Brockmeier was hailed as a writer of sinuous, startling prose. That skill is on full display again in this haunting, subdued debut novel, presented as if written by one Christopher Brooks, a science-fiction writer. In 1997, Christopher lives happily with his wife, Janet, and seven-year-old daughter, Celia, in a beautifully preserved 19th-century house in a peaceful small town. One morning, while Celia and her father are home alone, Celia vanishes from the backyard. There are no clues, no suspects. In successive stand-alone chapters, Brockmeier wanders ever further from a straight recounting of events. He describes the aftermath of Celia's disappearance from the perspective of the community at large, then turns Celia's story into a fantasy about an otherworldly green-skinned child, and finally imagines Celia in a new incarnation as a single mother called Stephanie. Christopher's and Janet's numbness-they show little rage, frustration or grief-is skillfully rendered, if sometimes oppressively subtle. Christopher lives in a hazy world of guilt, while Janet commits a few quiet acts of rebellion, disrupting the showing of a movie and finally drifting away from her husband. Brockmeier's prose is measured and lovely, and he sketches a number of eerie and compelling scenes, including those in which Christopher believes he receives telephone calls from the missing Celia on a toy phone that she treasured. The fragmented narration may deflect some readers, but others will cherish Brockmeier's seductive turns of phrase and sharp imagination.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The loss of a child is a shocking, life-altering event, especially when she disappears from beneath your very gaze. One moment seven-year-old Celia is balancing atop a stone wall--taking in the sunshine and breathing the fragrant air--and in the blink of an eye she has vanished from Christopher's sight. Christopher is in the midst of showing their historic home to some tourists while Janet is off at orchestra practice. He thinks Celia is probably playing somewhere in the yard as he passes the window facing the stone wall, and he continues to give the grand tour of the recent restorations to their vintage home. Close to a decade of searching does not return Celia, and Christopher and Janet are left with the fragments of a life they cannot piece together. Perhaps Celia is not dead and she resides in another dimension that defies time and spatial probability as we know it, or maybe Christopher is mad with inconsolable grief. This is a novel of devastation and whimsical possibility. Elsa Gaztambide
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In the end, the book is not really about Celia, nor about the truth of her situation. The book is about the father, and the truth of his personal identity, which he only discovers... Read morePublished 19 months ago by fine arts teach
I instantly fell in love with this book which is lovely and compelling, and startling and eerie at the same time. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by Melissa McCauley
I picked this book up to read on vacation to fill time at the airport only to find that I couldn't put it down!! Read morePublished on October 26, 2008 by S. Kuiper
The Truth About Celia pulled me away from chores and kept me up past my bedtime -- it was simply impossible to put down. Read morePublished on December 5, 2007 by Cara Brookins
This book is very strange. I had to read it for a literature course. It was a good book but really out there!Published on July 8, 2006 by Holly Go-Lightly
Although I enjoyed the writing sytle of "The Truth About Celia," the novel did not come together for me. I never understood what the various disasters, i.e. Read morePublished on March 21, 2006 by Patricia L. Anderson
What do you say about the devastating disappearance of a beloved young daughter? Brockmeier imagines a fictional writer who eventually recovers sufficiently to write this book, a... Read morePublished on June 23, 2004 by algo41