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bmbrennan
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Registered: ‎02-28-2007
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Re: The Search

Anytime you are waiting for an answer, time becomes an enemy not an ally.  It's the tragedy of the situation with a missing child that has given rise to a national registry of missing and exploited children, John Walsh was instrumental in this when is son was abducted in New York.  Megan's Law arised from Megan Kanka being abducted and Mark Klass has been very instrumental in keeping missing children legislation to the forefront.  Out of horrific incidents in their own lives, these individuals took action so other parents wouldn't have to experience what they did.
Are Fran and Ed's expectations of a positive outcome realistic?  I see two people outwardly by their actions contradicting their inner voices of despair.  I'll do this even though I don't know if it will make a difference. If your child is missing no matter how quickly the police are acting, it will never be quick enough for an overwrought parent.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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rileysfriend
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Re: The Search

When I was reading of Mimi, and her obsession with finding Kim, it brought to my memory the story of Sarah & Phillip Gehring. The two were brother and sister, and caught up in their parents' nasty divorce. They were from New Hampshire. Their father took them from a 4th of July celebration in Concord, NH. He murdered them and buried their bodies somewhere along a 700 miles stretch of highway in the Midwest. Before he could lead authorities to their bodies, the fool hung himself in his jail cell. The FBI, and local authorities across the US were unable to locate the children. A woman in Ohio was the one who finally found their grave a year and a half after their disappearance. Actually it was a woman and her dog! She says she went out searching with her dog more than 40 times since July near her Akron home because of clues suggesting the grave site could be in the region. She said that family members and friends were ready to have an intervention because she was obsessed with it. Is this a case of art imitating life? Either way, O'Nan weaves a good tale.
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BookWoman718
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Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: The Search

[ Edited ]


rileysfriend wrote:
When I was reading of Mimi, and her obsession with finding Kim, it brought to my memory the story of Sarah & Phillip Gehring. The two were brother and sister, and caught up in their parents' nasty divorce. They were from New Hampshire. Their father took them from a 4th of July celebration in Concord, NH. He murdered them and buried their bodies somewhere along a 700 miles stretch of highway in the Midwest. Before he could lead authorities to their bodies, the fool hung himself in his jail cell. The FBI, and local authorities across the US were unable to locate the children. A woman in Ohio was the one who finally found their grave a year and a half after their disappearance. Actually it was a woman and her dog! She says she went out searching with her dog more than 40 times since July near her Akron home because of clues suggesting the grave site could be in the region. She said that family members and friends were ready to have an intervention because she was obsessed with it. Is this a case of art imitating life? Either way, O'Nan weaves a good tale.

 
I'm glad you posted this, rileysfriend!  I was trying to remember the true life story that sounded like the ending to this book.   The appearance of Mimi at the last minute seemed almost too pat - while it's easy to imagine a body being found by accident, it's much harder to swallow a story of a lone dedicated searcher finding a single body somewhere in possibly several states, buried by a killer who had no prior connection to the victim.   I don't care how obsessed you are, where do you even start?    At least the story you relate adds credibility to O'Nan's ending.  Perhaps there were 'clues' published in the papers, some information that rang a bell with someone familiar with an area.  For me, that ending had been just about the only thing in the book that didn't sound utterly believable. 
 
Just wanted to add that I think O'Nan did the right thing by leaving out any mention of Mimi and her obsession earlier in the book.  Mentioning her - a person who had no other contact with the family - would have been a dead giveaway as to her importance.  And what could it be, other than she was either the murderer or the person who ultimately finds Kim?    And by the way, O'Nan shows a wonderful little bit of human experience when Fran is taken aback to be greeted so familiarly by Mimi.   That little disconnect when someone greets or talks to you emotionally, because they FEEL like they know you, they have clearly thought about you a lot, they know your face and your family - it's a weird feeling.  You have never given them a single thought at all.  It must happen a lot to famous people, of course.   But it can also happen if you have any kind of local prominence;  the first-responder-hero,  the politician's wife,   the business manager whose company is expanding and hiring.  Like Fran, your face and your story has been out there;  people you don't know at all, know you. 


Message Edited by BookWoman718 on 06-05-2008 04:46 AM
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pjmanley41
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Re: The Search

What are some of the different ways that various people in Kim's life approach the search for her, and to what degree are they influenced by each individual's particular emotions? What are some of the roadblocks -- personal and institutional -- that impede the search for Kim?


I felt the father physically going out to look was touching and something most father's would have to do -- take some action. The search seemed very believable based on what little I know about missing persons.

Did you feel frustrated by the progress of the search? Did it seem like the official police investigation was at odds with Fran and Ed's efforts at times?

I never though the police efforts were at odds -- just now as focused -- they had other things to do as well as look for Kim -- the parents whole life revolved around finding her.
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fordmg
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Re: The Search

SPOILER

rileysfriend wrote:
When I was reading of Mimi, and her obsession with finding Kim, it brought to my memory the story of Sarah & Phillip Gehring. The two were brother and sister, and caught up in their parents' nasty divorce. They were from New Hampshire. Their father took them from a 4th of July celebration in Concord, NH. He murdered them and buried their bodies somewhere along a 700 miles stretch of highway in the Midwest. Before he could lead authorities to their bodies, the fool hung himself in his jail cell. The FBI, and local authorities across the US were unable to locate the children. A woman in Ohio was the one who finally found their grave a year and a half after their disappearance. Actually it was a woman and her dog! She says she went out searching with her dog more than 40 times since July near her Akron home because of clues suggesting the grave site could be in the region. She said that family members and friends were ready to have an intervention because she was obsessed with it. Is this a case of art imitating life? Either way, O'Nan weaves a good tale.

You should put a SPOILER attachment to this response.
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fordmg
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Re: The Search

SPOILER





I agree with this concern--although finding Kim's body was a great thing for her family, I think its discovery undermines part of how Fran, Ed, Lindsay, and Kim's friends grow throughout the course of the book. That is, the book from its very first chapter refuses to satisfy either its characters' or its readers' desire to know what happened to Kim. One of the story's great strengths is precisely that explores what happens to a family when they can't know what happened to their daughter. Finding the body, especially when there's been an unremarked by the text yet intensive search effort going on all along (something I would have liked to know more about...here's someone else profoundly effected by Kim's disappearance), feels too much to me like having your cake and eating it too.

This response needs a SPOILER alert!
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nfam
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: The Search

I could feel the parent's frustration. I though O'Nan did a good job giving us insight into how painful it is to wait. I thought Fran showed a great deal of ingenuity looking up the information on the internet and organizing the search. Ed's role was different, but I applauded him also. He organized the physical search. It was sad to watch the family doing everything they could and not being able to affect events and make a difference.
 
When it comes down to it the offical apparatus was in gear. It wasn't doing everything the parents wanted, but it wasn't casting them aside. I thought it was well portrayed.
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pheath
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Re: The Search

fordmg: The general threads cover the entire book, and as stated in the reading schedule do not require spoiler disclaimers. Only the chapter specific threads do.
-Philip
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wendyroba
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Registered: ‎02-21-2007
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Re: The Search

O'Nan, in my opinion, go this completely right. His description of the various searches, the parent's responses, etc...was exactly what I have experienced as a search and rescue volunteer. Often the searches are done in horrible conditions...and there is always that ambivalent feeling of wanting to find something, and yet not wanting to find something bad. Searches that go on for weeks or months become exercises which are mentally exhausting. And at some point, the community falls away and almost seems to forget, while the family continues to press and hope and grieve. I cried when I read this book - it was almost too real.
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LucyintheOC
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Re: The Search

I also think O'Nan's portrayal extremely realistic. As for Mimi being this random person, I think it's completely realistic that some unknown person completely unrelated to the family and case should be the one to locate the remains. It happens, unfortunately, with some frequency in real life...A hunter, a hiker, children out "exploring". As for her peculiarness, I think most people have their particular pecularities, some may be just a little more peculiar than others. I have lived in many different places, and in my travels my experience has been that some people are just a little strange...or, if you want to use a more polite term, "different"; some people are sort of "differenly wired" from the majority (and I'm not talking about extremes, people who are truly physicologically off to the point of being mentally ill)--just odd. It seems like looking for Kim gave Mimi a sense of purpose for whatever her motivation was--whether we understand it or not. Given what little we know of her, I think she was motivated by her lonliness, maybe by wanting to accomplish something important so she could feel she had made a contribution to something larger than herself (and not in an egotistical way...don't many of us wish we could do something that is/would be meaningful in a significant way?).
 
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MelissaW
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Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: The Search

Here are my thoughts on the Search for Kim.

One of the first things that I noticed was that it took Kim’s family, meaning Fran and Ed, awhile to realize that Kim was missing.  Everyone thought that she was somewhere else, then at work or with her friends.  I do give Ed a lot of credit for starting to look on his own as soon as they realized that Kim had not come home the night before.

I got the impression that Lindsay didn’t want to search for her sister.  She just wanted to stay in her room and read.  She seemed to be very disconnected from her family and jealous of all of the attention that her parents paid to Kim, both before and after she went missing.  Her inability to be involved seems to frustrate Fran who is very focused on finding Kim.

Ed and Fran also have a hard time letting Lindsay out of the house by herself for the first week because they are afraid that something might happen to her as well and they don’t want to lose both of their daughters.  The attention that they pay Lindsay seems to come too little, too late to Lindsay’s thinking.  In some ways, I think that Lindsay doesn’t want Kim to be found.

JP thought that he loved her and was trying to stay close to her by becoming indispensible to her family.  I think that he was trying to prove to Ed that he wasn’t as bad as they thought.

Roadblocks

Secrets – her friends had secrets.  Until the secrets started to be revealed by Kim’s friends, that Kim slept with Wooze once, that Kim and her friends did drugs that they bought from Wooze, etc., the police couldn’t investigate any possibilities that might have led to Kim.

Kim’s age was one of the institutional roadblocks in the search for her.  The police had to consider that she might have just left until they were able to talk to everyone and learned that there was no reason for her to just leave without a word to anyone.

Another institutional roadblock was the interaction between the police and Fran and Ed.  Fran and Ed wanted action and the police could not always provide them with the action they wanted at that time.  The police were going about their investigation in a methodical manner and it was not as fast as Fran and Ed wanted because the police needed to consider that Kim might have left on her own and not been kidnapped.

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the_mad_chatter
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Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: The Search

I can't give credit to Fran and Ed for doing things that simply must get done.  It is their lack of going outside their own comfort zones to do the right things that are so disappointing.  Their efforts were not heroic in my eyes.
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Everyman
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Re: The Search

You should put a SPOILER attachment to this response.

there are no spoilers in the topic threads. These are intended for people who have finished the book and want to discuss it topically.

Spoiler warnings are only necessary in the chapter threads -- early chapters, middle chapters, etc.

this discussion was intentionally set up this way, after much though on the moderator's part, to give forums/opportunities for both those who want to read slowly and discuss as they go and those who want to read it all quickly and discuss the whole book.

People who haven't finished the book and don't want to encounter spoilers shouldn't be reading the topical threads.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Eckwell
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Re: The Search

I did feel somewhat frustrated with the progress of the search.  The family sees the volunteers dwindle as time goes on.  It must be very difficult to persevere in that sort of situation.  Kim's friends and those of the family start to fall away as time goes on.  It would be horrible to be in this situation.
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ROCKETRAY55
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Re: The Search

Hi Eckwell,
 
I think that is the point. As the search continues with no real results, people lose interest and move on with their lives. It would be a very hard situation to keep positive and be hopeful. I think O'nan did a good job of showing the ability of Fran and Ed to keep going even though things looked hopeless.
 
-Ray
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Jo6353
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Re: The Search



KxBurns wrote:

What are some of the different ways that various people in Kim's life approach the search for her, and to what degree are they influenced by each individual's particular emotions? What are some of the roadblocks -- personal and institutional -- that impede the search for Kim?


Did you feel frustrated by the progress of the search? Did it seem like the official police investigation was at odds with Fran and Ed's efforts at times?


-Karen




Yhe one point that kept coming to mind was, "Are they destroying evidence by tramping around the areas that she may have been in?" But on the other hand, somebody had to search and it didn't seem as if the police were doing it. A real Catch 22! Jo
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wendyroba
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Re: The Search



the_mad_chatter wrote:
I can't give credit to Fran and Ed for doing things that simply must get done. It is their lack of going outside their own comfort zones to do the right things that are so disappointing. Their efforts were not heroic in my eyes.





Why must they seem heroic? They are simply parents who have had their daughter go missing. And I think that is the point. When these things happen, people must respond in the glare of TV cameras and the judgment of the community; often people are ill-equipped to deal with these kinds of situations. How many of us would know the ins and outs of the sheriff's office and protocols for searches, etc... And there are protocols. I imagine that even if we think we are prepared, we are not.

I believe O'Nan's point was to show how each person who knew Kim dealt with her disappearance in their own, unique way...some better than others. They carried the "baggage" of their relationship with Kim and that effected their reactions and behavior.
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Everyman
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Re: The Search

Nice observation, Wendy.

wendyroba wrote:
... I believe O'Nan's point was to show how each person who knew Kim dealt with her disappearance in their own, unique way...some better than others. They carried the "baggage" of their relationship with Kim and that effected their reactions and behavior.

_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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the_mad_chatter
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Re: The Search

I don't expect Fran and Ed's actions to be heroic.  I mentioned this because others thought their actions were heroic and I didn't agree. 
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bmbrennan
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Re: The Search

I believe O'Nan's point was to show how each person who knew Kim dealt with her disappearance in their own, unique way...some better than others. They carried the "baggage" of their relationship with Kim and that effected their reactions and behavior.

I think so too, however I thought that they all needed to redefine themselves in the absence of Kim.  If I was Kim's friend, mother, father, sister, etc.  who am I  without her,  what is my identity now that she's gone?


bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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