Little Girl Gone: A Novel by Margaret Fenton (Create Space, $10.10, 266 pages)
Margaret Fenton’s second novel – following Little Lamb Lost, takes the reader once more into the world of Birmingham, Alabama social worker Claire Conover. As is typical for social workers, Claire is carrying a full caseload. Her caring attitude is tempered with a realistic approach to dealing with runaway and discarded children. A stony-faced young teen girl who was found sleeping in a cardboard box proves to be quite the challenge for Claire.
“Sandy,” at least that’s the name she reluctantly gives Claire, won’t provide any assistance with her details. She’s very slim, not starving, but definitely willing to go out for breakfast when Claire offers to take her. Thus begins the saga of reuniting “Sandy” with her family. The story unfolds naturally as Claire does her job using the skills she has developed over years in the job. Ms. Fenton infuses her characters with down-to-earth feelings to which the reader can easily relate.
The men in Claire’s life are Grant, her techie boyfriend and Kirk, a clever newspaper reporter. There’s mutual attraction between Kirk and Claire; however, she knows better than to be caught up in a fling with a flirt when she has calm and reliable Grant in her life. Kirk has provided helpful insights in past cases and is once again a source of information and strategic planning that brings him into a team-like relationship with Claire.
Ms. Fenton is a confident and strong writer who has lived the work she portrays. Much like a police procedural, Little Girl Gone takes the reader behind the scenes into real life situations that are both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Crisp dialogue coupled with excellent scene-setting descriptions make this a most satisfying read.
A review copy was provided by a publicist.