Publication Date: 2013
Publishing House: The O'Brien Press
Page Count: 265
Age Group: 12+
The structure of this book presents two intertwining stories that run along different timelines. In one, Maggie reminisces over past escapades with her daring, larger-than-life companion; the other is set in the present as Maggie writes personal letters to her missing friend. The story unfolds as these two timelines travel to a meeting point where the reason for Ellen's disappearance is finally revealed.
As the shyer and more introverted of the two, Maggie has difficulty coping with the enormity of her loss:
Sometimes it feels like I'm the one who's missing. I'm like a ghost looking on at everything that's happening and not really a part of it at all.
The author covers the terrain of adolescent emotion with great sensitivity and insight. The central friendship is believably fraught with tension and affection, jealousy and admiration.
Missing Ellen is Natasha Mac a' Bháird's second published book. Her first - Olanna's Big Day - was written for younger readers. In this latest offering, she deftly captures the spirit of early adolescence in a book that will appeal to anyone who has ever had a friend that meant the world to them.