Seventy-nine-year-old Missy has lost her husband, fallen out with her daughter and waved goodbye to her son and grandson. Life has never been so lonely but Missy is resigned to her fate. But when she passes out in the park one day, it's the beginning of something very unexpected for Missy as she finds herself being taken under the wing of Sylvie and her friend Angela and Angela's four-year-old son, Otis.
Slowly, and with the help of one more friend, this time of the four-legged variety, Missy's barriers begin to come down and she starts to realise it's not too late for her to find friendship, love and forgiveness.
Very much in the uplit vein, Saving Missy is typically both heartbreaking and heartwarming, though, in many respects, it's a little different to what one might expect. Greek and classical references, in fitting with Missy's background, distinguish this from the usual run-of-the-mill story, but they don’t feel off-putting.
Missy is also perhaps less of a quintessential protagonist, and although she is purposely something of an introspective and prickly character, I did want to be able to warm to her more. Angela and Otis offer something of an antidote, but, along with Sylvie, I would have liked more from these additional characters. All in all, I felt this was a solid debut, particularly in terms of the narrative and style, but the characters, sadly, just fell a bit short for me. (JC)