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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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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?
 
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
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Jeanie0522
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: The Search

I found this part very frustrating and yet so realistic.  She had been missing for 18 hours before the family knew it.  This is not unusual considering that when she didn't come to work, her friend assumed she had decided to call in sick and her family was used to her being out late at night and no longer waited up for her.  The police seemed convinced she was a runaway which really slowed things down.  I think Stewart O'Nan has a unique gift of getting across to the reader what it is like to wait...and wait. 
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ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Search tools

Only because this is a subject I would not really think about (unless forced to!), I found the resource material available on the internet suprising.  It is terrible that there should be the need for such a thing, but it must have made a very big difference to be able to quickly educate oneself about what to do in this situation, and have templates for fliers, etc. with which to move forward with some plan of action.  How much worse it must have been prior to this when families of the missing were solely dependent upon law enforcement and could do nothing while they waited.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Search tools

This was much my same reaction. Of course I read about the Amber Alerts and see the photos on milk cartons and IRS leaflets, but I had never had any inkling that there were so many resources for families who find themselves in this terrible situation, nor that there was such a structured process that a family is recommended to follow. That, to me, was one of the most interesting parts of the book (I'm assuming that this was all factually based, not that O'Nan invented it). I love books that while entertaining me also teach me about somewhat arcane subjects that I would never think much about on my own.

ELee wrote:
Only because this is a subject I would not really think about (unless forced to!), I found the resource material available on the internet suprising. It is terrible that there should be the need for such a thing, but it must have made a very big difference to be able to quickly educate oneself about what to do in this situation, and have templates for fliers, etc. with which to move forward with some plan of action. How much worse it must have been prior to this when families of the missing were solely dependent upon law enforcement and could do nothing while they waited.



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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crimefighter4444
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: The Search

this entire story is based on emotions. the author shares with us the emotions of each character and weaves them together. love and hate,jealousy,betrayal,disappointment,hope all factor in to make this story feel as if the reader is actually involved. the suspense constantly intensifies and certain questions keep coming up but are not resolved. i put myself in the father's shoes trying to imagine if i would do anything differntly than him.this part od the story leaves a lot of food for thought.
rich bielecki
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thekoolaidmom
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎04-11-2008
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Re: The Search

The search on foot in groups reminded me of when I was a teen, a local woman went missing, and I helped look for her.  It's slow, boring in that it all looks the same (dirt, leaves, sticks, the occassional litter), and very exhausting on the nerves.  You don't notice the physical pain so much as just emotional exhaustion.
 
I felt for J.P. in that, here he was trying so hard to love her, and to hang on to her through her family. 
 
Ed's need to physically do something drives him out, while Fran searches online and through the community and media.
 
I felt bad for Lindsay, too.  Everything she did or didn't do was watched closely by Fran.
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MARISSAD115
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-21-2008
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Re: The Search

I do think nobody really though of anything being wrong with Kim when she first went missing. Nina though oh she must have called out when she didnt' show up to work, and her family didn't realize until the next morning. I think they might have acted too lient with not freaking out soon enough. You can tell her friends have something they are hiding too which if they were smarter should have brought out in the beggining to help with the search. I do wish O'Nan would have elaborated some more into what they might have been hiding.
 
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bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
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Re: Search tools



Everyman wrote:
This was much my same reaction. Of course I read about the Amber Alerts and see the photos on milk cartons and IRS leaflets, but I had never had any inkling that there were so many resources for families who find themselves in this terrible situation, nor that there was such a structured process that a family is recommended to follow. That, to me, was one of the most interesting parts of the book (I'm assuming that this was all factually based, not that O'Nan invented it). I love books that while entertaining me also teach me about somewhat arcane subjects that I would never think much about on my own.

ELee wrote:
Only because this is a subject I would not really think about (unless forced to!), I found the resource material available on the internet suprising. It is terrible that there should be the need for such a thing, but it must have made a very big difference to be able to quickly educate oneself about what to do in this situation, and have templates for fliers, etc. with which to move forward with some plan of action. How much worse it must have been prior to this when families of the missing were solely dependent upon law enforcement and could do nothing while they waited.





And I was struck how even with all the ways to "get the word out" and all the communication that is going on, all the resources, they were still stuck and frustrated with not finding Kim.  And it sometimes seemed that all of the business of the searches was really just a way to keep themselves occupied and to make them feel like they were accomplishing something.
 
Ann, bookhunter
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Search



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I found this part very frustrating and yet so realistic.  She had been missing for 18 hours before the family knew it.  This is not unusual considering that when she didn't come to work, her friend assumed she had decided to call in sick and her family was used to her being out late at night and no longer waited up for her.  The police seemed convinced she was a runaway which really slowed things down.  I think Stewart O'Nan has a unique gift of getting across to the reader what it is like to wait...and wait. 



Yes, you are right Jeanie. You feel the frustration, the emptiness that the family felt by the waiting......
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Search tools



ELee wrote:
Only because this is a subject I would not really think about (unless forced to!), I found the resource material available on the internet suprising.  It is terrible that there should be the need for such a thing, but it must have made a very big difference to be able to quickly educate oneself about what to do in this situation, and have templates for fliers, etc. with which to move forward with some plan of action.  How much worse it must have been prior to this when families of the missing were solely dependent upon law enforcement and could do nothing while they waited.


You know this had to be the msot frustrating time when people could do nothing but wait....  It had to be such a torcture of a feeling inside. And now, you can move around, do things and keep the hope up and the strength. Of course, I know the agnony is the same, but at least the whole self doesnt get defeated so soon.
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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: The Search

I was struck by how many people came out to search and at how well organized it seemed to be. I was also saddened when  the amount of people searching dropped off.  I was a little surprised that Lindsay did not take Cooper out and try to see if he could pick up a scent. Although Cooper is not trained as a tracking dog, I think dogs know their owners scent and there was a valuable resource that was ignored.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Search



COCOSPALS wrote:
I was struck by how many people came out to search and at how well organized it seemed to be. I was also saddened when  the amount of people searching dropped off.  I was a little surprised that Lindsay did not take Cooper out and try to see if he could pick up a scent. Although Cooper is not trained as a tracking dog, I think dogs know their owners scent and there was a valuable resource that was ignored.


Good point, Cocospals. I thought about Cooper as well. While he may be an animal, he is an animal thrust into a very tense, disruptive time. He has no control over what is happening, and doesn't seem to be called upon for comfort. While he does get let out, we don't read about much interaction with him.  I wonder if Lindsay would have taken him out if she had been allowed.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: The Search

[ Edited ]
        I really wish more could be done as soon as possible when someone is missing that is 18 ----adult age. I think the earlier hours are crucial. I give Ed credit for looking on his own before the police would. We were in a scary predicament when my daughter was in her twenties and living in a rented apartment shared with another girl. The police called us in the morning at 7am to say they found her pocketbook on the beach with ID in it. When we called her roommate, her roommate said she had not come home the night before so she was already missing 8 hours by then. It turns out, she spent the night at another friend's house. Her car was broken into outside that friend's  house by some kids who took the phone (which happened to be a work pager because she was working as a counselor with drug addicts) and then tossed her purse on the beach. Because the evidence was suspicious, the police started searching as soon as we told them she hadn't returned to her apartment. Thery found her by locating her car outside this other friend's house. We were only in limbo about one hour til they found her safe and sound at her friend's place but it seemed like forever. I can't imagine  the ordeal of the Larsens and hope we never have to .---Lesson from this----call the roommate when plans change. Call Nina if yoiu did choose not to go in. Police should search as soon as possible even without suspicious circumstances.
     On another note , the author mentions a white shepherd search and rescue dog named Blizzard brought in with the dogs in the search in Sandusky. Before I retired, there was a program at my school with search and rescue dogs  and one was a white shepherd named Bllizzard. I got to pet him. I wonder if the author met this dog too.
Librarian 


Message Edited by Librarian on 06-02-2008 07:34 PM
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Jennd1
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: The Search

I did think that the police and Ed and Fran were at odds early in the search. Ed and Fran wanted to leave no stone unturned while the police seemed to want to wait and see what happened. I also agree that it is a shame that no one noticed that Kim was missing earlier, although it is totally believable that it could happen that way. I also agree that the early hours are crucial and I was a bit fustrated that the police were not more willing to do more. I think the searching and the posting fliers was important because it helped the police and it raised more community awareness, but it gave Kim's friends and family a way to help which they desperately needed.
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Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Search



crimefighter4444 wrote:
this entire story is based on emotions. the author shares with us the emotions of each character and weaves them together. love and hate,jealousy,betrayal,disappointment,hope all factor in to make this story feel as if the reader is actually involved. the suspense constantly intensifies and certain questions keep coming up but are not resolved. i put myself in the father's shoes trying to imagine if i would do anything differntly than him.this part od the story leaves a lot of food for thought.

I noticed that too- how each searcher had their own reasons and feelings. My daughter went "missing" once for several hours in a state park (she was 13) and they had a search and rescue and even dogs since it was a mountain/forest type park. She had got turned around on a trail and was found safe and sound later that night, but I remember well the emotions I was going through, and the various young volunteers and older professional rangers. Also the immediate suspicions that now fall on family. We were seperated for questioning and a lot of it had to do with-"had we argued? etc." It was very hard to get it clear that she was just lost. And just needed people to find her.
 
The volunteers were all interesting though, when thinking back on it anyway. Some were kind of glory seeking, some very low key and kind, some excited.
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krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Mimi Knapp

Speaking of the volunteers, what do you all make of Mimi Knapp, the woman who keeps searching when even Ed and Fran have given up, and finds Kim's body?

Personally, I'm torn between being glad that O'Nan kept her story out of the majority of the novel (like Kim, she's not part of the town's response, and by that logic, doesn't really have a place in the structure of the story) and finding her presence unsettling: for me, a lot of the novel was about coming to terms with not knowing everything, so when she shows up with the body, that provides too much closure (if that makes sense). In another sense, even though she didn't know Kim (and we discover that no one knew Kim as well as they thought they did throughout the course of the novel), Kim and her story obviously became a huge part of her life--and that's a story I'm curious about. What drives a woman who "in every picture...was in uniform, as if they were the only clothes she owned" to spend all her free time obsessively searching for a missing stranger? (272).


Bonnie824 wrote:

I noticed that too- how each searcher had their own reasons and feelings.
The volunteers were all interesting though, when thinking back on it anyway. Some were kind of glory seeking, some very low key and kind, some excited.


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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Search

although the discovery of the missing kim was terribly delayed and the search began later than it should have, perhaps these delays could not have been avoided. the normal first reaction is disbelief and denial. then the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, of necessity, and lead to wasted time and calculated responses rather than compassion.
in 1979, 6 year old etan patz disappeared on his way to school. his case is the oldest "open missing child" case in ny. it was the first time i had ever heard of such a horrible crime. in that time and place, we all let our children play outside and never worried that someone would come and take them. it just wasn't part of our reality.
it soon became so, however, because the rabbi of my temple in nj, was his uncle. the entire congregation felt the initial confusion, suffering, pain and loss. at first we automatically rejected the news and thought it was a mistake that would soon be cleared up. no one believed this could really be happening. 24 hour cable news was not a phenomenon. there were no pictures on milk cartons or amber alerts.
even with the many improved resources today, missing children/young adults, etc., are often found too late. perhaps we need a still better way. perhaps more important than the searching, we need to find out what makes people crazy enough to do such hateful things so we can stop them.
twj
 


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



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noannie
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: The Search

The search really hit home that Kim was missing and may never return. All the while reading of the search I was  afraid that they would find Kim but it would be too late. so many people turned out to help because I think it was a small town and everyone wanted to do their part in helping. I felt like I was walking the fields in the heat looking for her. Stewart O'Nan really zeroes in on all the small things that make you stop and think,"what would I do in this situation."
 
noannie
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: The Search

When I was a child one  of my friends went missing.  It was back when these things just did not happen.  No one really knew what to do.  The Police made a search through the neighbor hood and took the father and his brother into custody for a short while.  They took my father in for questioning.  They found a girl's body in a wooded area many years later  but that was before DNA . So my friend is still missing.
  I was struck by how things have changed.  The way people organized and the the way they knew what to do.  I guess practice makes perfect.
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Search

isn't that a sad commentary on life? i am sorry about your friend.
twj


mwinasu wrote:
When I was a child one  of my friends went missing.  It was back when these things just did not happen.  No one really knew what to do.  The Police made a search through the neighbor hood and took the father and his brother into custody for a short while.  They took my father in for questioning.  They found a girl's body in a wooded area many years later  but that was before DNA . So my friend is still missing.
  I was struck by how things have changed.  The way people organized and the the way they knew what to do.  I guess practice makes perfect.


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