English / Ireland

Missing Ellen

Mac a’Bháird, Natasha (text)
Dublin: The O’Brien Press, 2013. – 173 p.
ISBN 978-1-84717-353-9

Friend | Fatal accident | Grief | Counselling | Coming-of-age novel

Natasha Mac a’Bháird first ventured into the field of children’s literature with ≫Olanna’s Big Day≪, the story of a little Nigerian girl’s fi rst St Patrick’s Day celebration.

In her poignant coming-of-age novel, the freelance writer and editor now explores the topic of teenage friendship and loss. The story unfolds, step by step, through Maggie’s memories of the past few months and through letters she writes to her missing friend. Since the day they met in kindergarten, shy Maggie and adventurous Ellen had been best friends. But suddenly Ellen started to seek thrills in partying and drinking with her older boyfriend; and now Maggie is left behind struggling with grief, guilt, and loneliness. Was it her fault that Ellen fell in with the ≫wrong crowd≪? The authentic first-person narrative draws readers into the book and makes them witness Maggie’s confusion, sadness, and anger as she slowly comes to terms with the events and manages to move on. (Age: 14+)