THE REESE WITHERSPOON OCTOBER BOOK CLUB PICK
THE PANDORA OCTOBER BOOK CLUB PICK
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A hottest book of Autumn 2023 for THE TIMES, DAILY MAIL, THE INDEPENDENT, VOGUE, STYLIST, TIME MAGAZINE, EVENING STANDARD, THE I and THE IRISH MAIL ON SUNDAY.
‘It’s impossible not to be moved’ Stephen King, New York Times
‘Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching…I was so invested in the future of this mother and son, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of this deeply suspenseful story!’ Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club October ’22 Pick)
From the #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere, comes one of the most anticipated books of the year – the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in Harvard’s library. He knows not to ask too many questions, stand out too much, stray too far. For a decade, their lives have been governed by laws written to preserve ‘American culture’ in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic – including the work of Bird’s mother, Margaret, a Chinese American poet who left the family when he was nine years old.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is drawn into a quest to find her. His journey will take him through the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can turn a blind eye to the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power – and limitations – of art to create change in the world, the lessons and legacies we pass onto our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.