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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
336 pages
Jun 2010
Howard Books

Missing Max

by Karen Young

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A missing child, a pregnant teen, and a marriage about to collapse are all key themes in Missing Max, a novel by Karen Young. Jane Madison is desperately searching for her infant son Max, who was abducted during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. However, what she doesn’t realize is that she is about to lose her teenage daughter and husband as well. A mother’s wrenching pain and her need for justice are clearly felt in this novel.

Jane and Kyle Madison have several challenges thrown at them in a matter of months. Max is abducted, their sixteen-year-old daughter Melanie announces she is pregnant, and their marriage begins to come unraveled. In addition, Jane has decided that God no longer exists. Her pain has taken over and blinded her to the world around her. Eventually, she must make the choice. Is the search for her son or is the preservation of her marriage more important to her?

This book is nicely organized with events occurring in a well-developed chronological manner. Throughout the book, the reader has the privilege of seeing the story through several characters’ viewpoints. One really feels for Kyle Madison’s pain of missing his son and Melanie’s heartache, because Karen Young invites the reader to experience parts of the story through their intimate points of view. Also, the relationships between a husband, wife, and stepdaughter are genuine representatives of real relationships people struggle with on a day-to-day basis.

Whereas some flat characters are persistent, the main characters in the book are well-rounded. Jane especially makes a complete change in personality, especially where the Gospel and Jesus Christ are concerned. She is a character I felt I knew and could relate to. The other central characters, such as Kyle and Melanie, are also similarly developed. Each one makes a distinctive life change in this book. They all grow throughout the story, so they are not at all the same characters they were earlier.

This book encompasses a theme from Psalm 147:3, which says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” In the story, Jane Madison’s broken heart is ultimately healed through returning to her Savior. Although the plot did lose my interest in parts of book, the story does have a good ending. Ultimately, after finishing the book, I thought it was a traditional narrative if one is looking for something that is wholesome and has a positive ending. It is not a book that made me think about heavy theological matters, but it was simply an enjoyable reading experience for an afternoon. This is a book for the romantic person who is looking for a story that is not erotic. Particularly women with a romantic side will enjoy this tale. – Elizabeth de Graaf,

Book Jacket:

When baby Max is kidnapped during Mardi Gras, Jane and Kyle Madison's life falls apart. What their daughter, Melanie, does next is unthinkable.

Max vanished into thin air while in the care of his teenage sister, Melanie. Six months later, the family is a shadow of its former self: Melanie blames herself and is acting out and rebellious; Jane is obsessed with finding Max; and Kyle, a lawyer, struggles to cope with his own grief—and a persistent suspicion that one of his cases is connected to Max's disappearance.

With her family in turmoil and her marriage on the rocks, Jane thinks things can't get any worse. Then when an affair and an unexpected pregnancy threaten to tear the Madisons' lives apart, an anonymous caller leads to a break in the case. Can a second kidnapping bring their family back together?