Clarke, Judith. The Lost Day. Henry Holt & Co, 1999. ISBN 978-0805061529 154 pp. $16.95
Little about this book is appealing, from the title to the cover art to the typeface. The plot (a group of friend with complicated relationships go to Melbourne for a Saturday night out on the town) is the vehicle for Vinny to become separated from the group. They worry a bit, panic by Sunday and are hysterical when he arrives home on Monday. The twist? Vinny thinks it is still Sunday.
The novel is split; the first half is a series of vignettes. Each friend recalls some past incident or ponders his or her current life situation as s/he looks for Vinny. The second half is Vinny’s version of his disappearance. The reader can infer that he was drugged, kidnapped, and possibly abused, but the truth is muddled. An unsatisfying and confusing read. For a book on a similar topic, try When Jeff Comes Home by Catherine Atkins.