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Publisher's Summary

Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high-school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten.

As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case—and also dangerous.

Eerie parallels soon emerge between Charlene’s disappearance and the abduction of another local girl that shook the community years ago when Maggie was a teenager. The investigation has her husband, Jones, the lead detective on the case, acting strangely. Rick, already a brooding teenager, becomes even more withdrawn. In a town where the past is always present, nobody is above suspicion, not even a son in the eyes of his father.

“I know how a moment can spiral out of control,” Jones says to a shocked Maggie as he searches Rick’s room for incriminating evidence. “How the consequences of one careless action can cost you everything.”

As she tries to reassure him that Rick embodies his father in all of the important ways, Maggie realizes this might be exactly what Jones fears most. Determined to uncover the truth, Maggie pursues her own leads into Charlene’s disappearance and exposes a long-buried town secret—one that could destroy everything she holds dear.

This thrilling novel about one community’s intricate yet fragile bonds will leave listeners asking, How well do I know the people I love? And how far would I go to protect them?

©2010 Lisa Unger (P)2010 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Unger’s taut and edgy tale stealthily plumbs the depths of desperation that grow more dangerous with the passage of time." ( Booklist)
"A rich tapestry of psychological wounds...Cleverly plotted and emotionally engaging." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Compelling and true to life characters...highly recommended." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Simone
  • 04-11-2016

20% story - 80% clutter

I am about two thirds of the way done with this story and I can’t stand it. It’s not the plot, it’s the writing.

EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. OR. THING comes with a back-story. There is a description and explanation for EVERYTHING and it goes on and on and on…. It’s borderline a collection of short stories there are so many tangents. The watch on his wrist (a Timex he bought 20 years ago), the lamp in the table (a stained glass creation he used to love, now hates), the grocery clerk (the type of person you can trust), the pizza (not as greasy as the one from the other place) IT NEVER ENDS! I swear it’s 20% story and 80% endless, pointless describing.

It’s driving me crazy, there is so much USELESS detail that doesn’t move the story along!!!! There is “filling out the picture” and then there is “all show and no tell” …. I don’t even know what this is, it takes constant rambling into the stratosphere; it’s so full of clutter.

At this point, I have to say that it’s actually becoming quite funny. I’ll finish the book but I can’t imagine ever picking up another one by the same author.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Janet
  • 30-03-2012

Lays a Good Foundation ...

Would you consider the audio edition of Fragile to be better than the print version?

In some ways, it was a very good dramatization & gave good depth to characters.

What other book might you compare Fragile to and why?

Some of the back story novels of strong female roles; Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan or Tess Gerritsen's Jane Rizzoli, a prequel that explains some of their motives in future books.

Which scene was your favorite?

Resolving the mysteries of past generations, putting past demons to rest.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me smile, to think that old wrongs were righted.

Any additional comments?

A good story, laying the groundwork for sequels that I will definately put on my wishlist.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • 26-09-2010

Fragile is fuzzy

I have to admit I had an upper respiratory infection for most of the time I listened to this so maybe that is why I had such a hard time with this book. The book deals with a murder from the past and a murder in the present. Unfortunately for me, the characters in the past were so similar to the characters in the present, I could not keep up with whether we were in the past or present. The murders were also very similar which made it more difficult for me to figure out if it was past or present.

Usually, I love this kind of book but for me, this just wasn't it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • lil' old me
  • 27-07-2017

Lisa Unger Knocks It Out of the Park Again

This is the 3rd book of hers, but 1st I've left a review for. I've been reading a new one as soon as I'm done with the previous. I adore her writing; it is incredibly smart, accessible, and Unger knows about the human psyche and its many manifestations in a way I'm not sure I've seen before. The psychological aspect with each plot is complex, detailed & she weaves vocabulary like a poem of sentences. She also picks great narrators for all of them- it's like their voices were made for the stories. Quit reading this and go listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila Ali
  • 27-06-2018

Slow and meandering

There is still half an hour left and it feels never-ending. It was a very ordinary story, I can't believe it had so many good reviews. I liked Lisa Unger's another book and that is why I bought this one but it was a mistake. I am not listening to the second book. The narrator was just so slow and was not right for this book. I was sad to see that she is narrating most of Unger's books.

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  • Susanne
  • 06-04-2018

Twists and turns

If you enjoy a book with twists and turns then this is a book for you. Add the setting if a small town with interwoven lives and you will need to pay attention.