The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
"All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”
Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life."- summary from Amazon
This was a beautifully written, emotional and poignant debut novel; I absolutely loved it and it was such a great book to start the new year with. Imogene goes on this crazy journey to figure out her parents and her past and who she is as a person. The book takes a few unexpected turns and it's interesting to see what actually happens in the climax. I also liked the parallels with mystery novels and how Imogene would use the formulaic arc of those and apply it to her own life (or, to use it to show that real life is not like a novel).
Overall, Podos has written a fantastic contemporary debut and I'm excited to see what she gives her readers next!
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.