Fragile, by Lisa Unger, takes place in a small town called The Hollows. Unger moves at a slower pace to create the personalities of the characters so that the reader can keep track of them all – there are several generations that are reviewed and highlighted in the book.
Maggie and her husband Jones Cooper manage their relationship, as well as make a stable home for their son Ricky. Ricky’s girlfriend Charlene later disappears, and it serves to stir up memories of a prior disappearance, linking the characters to the unsolved past. Maggie is torn between defending the state of her marriage or protecting her son from the world. She eventually does the right thing, but not without a journey on all sides.
The characters’ lives are exposed and pitted against each other throughout the story. As a therapist in the town, Maggie gets to delve into the minds of those coming to terms with the events affecting them. The townspeople carry the burdens of their past memories, and Unger gives the reader vital clues to piecing together what happened within both the underlying stories and the disappearance of the two girls in town. The juxtaposition of the past and present brings the characters together, while at the same time serves as a wedge to further drive them apart.
Fragile is full of emotion and upheaval for the main characters as well as the supporting cast of people who live in the fictional town. The reader will be easily able to follow the twists and cues from the past that will make for a great ending for this story. I recommend the book for all audiences.
After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Broadway Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.