Agora Books is so thrilled to introduce our new author, Laura Pearson, and her heart-wrenching debut novel, Missing Pieces.
We hope this is just the sort of story you’ve been looking for because this is the just the sort of story we want to share. That book that you can’t put down at night, the book you tell everyone about – the book you tell anyone about.
What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?
All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.
Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.
That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?
A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?
The coffin was too small. Too small to contain what it did, which was not only Phoebe’s body, but a large part of Linda, too.
At the funeral parlour, a man touched Linda’s arm and asked, gently, whether she wanted to see Phoebe, and even as she was nodding her head, she knew that it was a mistake.
‘Are you sure?’ Tom asked.
Linda knew that this was a decision she couldn’t unmake. Knew, instinctively, that she was wrong. She would wish, later, that she hadn’t seen their daughter like that, because no matter how peaceful she looked, she was still gone. Knew that the memory of her lying there, surrounded by silk and dressed too immaculately, would interfere with the memories she held of Phoebe laughing and running. Alive. And still, she nodded her head and followed the man down the corridor towards a lifetime of regret.
Linda looked back, once, at Tom and Esme. They were standing hand in hand, quite still, dark heads bowed. Esme’s fringe needed cutting, and it was covering her eyebrows and, when she looked down at the thick carpet, her eyes too. This is my family, Linda thought. This is what’s left of my family. And then she looked down at her swollen belly, touched it as her baby flipped over like a fish, felt nothing.
When they reached the room, the man told her to take as long as she needed. He opened the door for her and then disappeared down the corridor like a ghost. And Linda approached the coffin slowly, looked in at the girl who couldn’t possibly be Phoebe. Who was too small, and still, and quiet, to be Phoebe.
And Linda felt like getting inside it, curling up with her daughter and going to sleep.
But the coffin was too small.