Episode 39: The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

Episode 39: The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo

Lisa Bellow is one of the popular girls in eighth grade. Meredith Oliver is not. It's coincidence that they end up at the same sandwich shop one day after school, when a masked gunman walks in, makes them lie down on the floor, demands money from the guy behind the counter, then tells Lisa to come with him. Then Lisa is gone. And Meredith is not. Told from the interweaving perspectives of Meredith and her mother, this is a story about how the near-miss can also be a tragedy, about what it means to be a parent in a world that's full of danger, about how we keep on living even when we've been damaged beyond repair.

Host Cyd Oppenheimer talks with author Susan Perabo about the ways this novel is and isn't about an abduction ("it's about this family, it's about coming of age, it's about motherhood); about her choice to leave us with an ending full of questions; and about "the things we allow ourselves to do that put distance between us and the people that we love."

Guest readers Annie Thoms and Jessica Sager join Oppenheimer to discuss futility and hope, profound acts of courage and kindness, and what it means to "get out of the way."

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Episode 40: All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

Episode 40: All I Love and Know by Judith Frank

Episode 38: All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

Episode 38: All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg