If You Were There: Missing People and the Marks They Leave Behind (Hardback)Francisco Garcia (author)
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Through the prism of the author’s own quest to find his vanished father, Garcia looks at both those left behind and those charged with trying to locate missing persons in this heartbreaking yet essential read.
When Francisco Garcia was just seven years old, his father, Christobal, left his family. Unemployed, addicted to drink and drugs, and adrift in life, Christobal decided he would rather disappear altogether than carry on dealing with the problems in front of him. So that's what he did, leaving his young wife and child in the dead of night. He has been missing ever since.
Twenty years on, Francisco is ready to take up the search for answers. Why did this happen and how could it be possible? Where might his father have gone? And is there any reason to hope for a happy reunion? During his journey, which takes him all across Britain and back to his father's homeland of Spain, Francisco tells the stories of those he meets along the way: the police investigators; the charity employees and volunteers; the once missing and those perilously at risk around us; the families, friends and all those left behind.
If You Were There is the moving and affecting story of one man's search for his lost family, an urgent document of where we are now and a powerful, timeless reminder of our responsibility to others.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 470 g
Dimensions: 227 x 159 x 30 mm
'It had me rapt. A compassionate and dogged work of journalism and memoir that will stay with me.' Maeve Higgins, author of Maeve in America
'I was blown away by this book's gentle wisdom and incredible research. You will love this amazing book.' Megan Nolan, author of Acts of Desperation
'A pilgrimage through the many heartlands of missing, told with the empathy of someone knows all too well the eternal loss of missing. One of those books you can't put down, gripped by the need to get to the end of the story, as is Garcia himself. A read-it-in-an-afternoon book with a surprising ending that stays with you long after you've turned the last page.' Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People
'This book is a fascinating insight into the complex layers of what it is to be missing and the deep reverberations felt by the families waiting for news. The author shines light on the myriad of issues that result in someone disappearing, with the compassion and empathy of someone with true lived experience.' Kirsty Hillman, Lost Contact supervisor at Missing People
'This is a beautiful exploration of unresolved grief, and the power and tenacity of those the missing leave behind.' New Statesman
'The experience of reading If You Were There is like standing on a beach witnessing the tide pull in and out around you, the landscape forever oscillating between a close, intimate environment and a wide expanse, peopled, on this occasion, with swathes of the missing...' Guardian, Book of the Day
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