Following the mysterious disappearance of her husband, Dorothy Gibbons, affectionately known as Lady Pink Hat, trudges the lanes around Drumford, homeless and directionless. Alone she rolls a dice, reflecting on her life, times both painful and pleasant. She stumbles upon The Grange, an old disused Georgian farmhouse, and this changes the course of her fortune, although even this is not without conflict and drama. She finds an old social history book of her temporary refuge, but the sound of swinging from the rafters above her makeshift bed disturbs Dorothy and her imagination stirs her to write. Millie, an 18th Century aspirant nun, runs away from The Grange. Dorothy tells of her protagonist's adventures and tragedies, some parallel to her own. It is Jamal, a Syrian refugee and asylum seeker, whom Dorothy fosters until leaving school, who is driven to solve the mysteries. He and his brother settle in a nearby flat until the misguided Ahmed also disappears. With three missing people in his life, Dorothy, Gerald her husband and Ahmed, Jamal is determined to discover the truth? Is Millie also still haunting The Grange until her story is told?
Number of pages: 365
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm
Review by David Ebsworth, author of historical fiction "The premise of Diana Jackson's novel is that life is mostly as random as the results of rolling dice. The challenges that life throws at us can be positive sixes, or disastrous ones and twos. So she weaves the stories of her main characters, Dot, Jamal and Angelina, around a whole batch of social issues that could similarly hit any of us by a simple twist of fate: homelessness; mental health; abandonment; and betrayal. Some great descriptive writing, but it's the redemptions in the novel that are striking, the bringing together of all those threads, from the past and from the present, from the characters' various stories, making us see that, even despite life's more disastrous dice throws, given the right support, another outcome might be possible, the missing may be found." Reviewed by Kmet of Kutela; "Diana Jackson's Missing: Past and Present spirited me away to a different world. The story began with the mysterious disappearance of Dorothy's husband Gerald leaving her both bewildered and destitute. I loved the emerging story of Jamaal and Ahmed which interweaved throughout the story and the links with another era as Dorothy tries desperately to lift herself from the devastating life in which she now found herself. Looking forward to Diana's next book."