Forge, Jun 2003, 23.95, 240 pp.
Recovering from a miscarriage, Florida reporter Leslie Austin starts recalling people and places that seem so real yet has no seeming link to her. Feeling haunted by the strange fleeting memories, Leslie becomes shook to her core when she reads a wire story on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the unsolved Connecticut abduction of three years old Ruth Eden.
Leslie begins questioning why she remembers nothing before her fifth birthday and why she has no photos of her pre-school self or for that matter her parents whom her Aunt Flo and Uncle Mac insisted were dead. Leslie confronts her widowed aunt who reluctantly confesses that her mentally ill brother abducted a young child and gave the girl to them to raise. Believing she must be Ruth Eden, Leslie locates her biological father who explains that he believed her mother cheated on him so he sexually assaulted her. When Ruth was born, her mother went into a deep depression that turned worse when the child was kidnapped. Leslie wonders who is her dad?
Though the mystery of who is Leslie is well written and will hook the audience, the theme of VOICES is much deeper as the audience receives a powerful character study focusing on Leslie whose life is based on an initial lie. The prime protagonist knows that she was raised in love by her “aunt” and “uncle”, but upon learning how the hiding of her past sent her down a different path, she forsakes her trust in people. Janice Law is at her best in this tale in which the first domino is ignored with the push starting at the second tile.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner