A deeply moving story of the complicated bond between brother and sister
“Going missing was the only interesting thing my brother had ever done.”
Even a decade later, the memories of the year Lydia Pasternak turned sixteen continue to haunt her. As a teenager, Lydia lived in her older brother’s shadow. While Danny’s athletic skills and good looks established his place with the popular set at school, Lydia’s smarts relegated her to the sidelines, where she rolled her eyes at her brother and his meathead friends and suffered his casual cruelty with resigned bewilderment. Though a part of her secretly wished for a return of the easy friendship she and Danny shared as children, another part of her wished Danny would just vanish. And then, one night, he did.
In the year following Danny Pasternak’s disappearance, his parents go off the rails, his town buzzes with self-indulgent mourning, and his little sister Lydia finds herself thrust into unwanted celebrity, forced to negotiate her ambivalent—often grudging—grief for a brother she did not particularly like. Suddenly embraced by Danny’s old crowd, forgotten by her parents, and drawn into the missing person investigation by her family’s intriguing private eye, Lydia both blossoms and struggles to find herself during Danny’s absence. But when a trail of clues leads to a shocking outcome in her brother’s case, the teenaged Lydia and the adult she will become are irrevocably changed, even now as she reluctantly prepares to return to her hometown.
Relentlessly gripping, often funny, and profoundly moving, The Local News is a powerful exploration of the fraught relationship between a brother and sister and how our siblings define who we are.
About the Author
Miriam Gershow was a fiction fellow at the University of Wisconsin. Her stories have appeared in the Georgia Review, Black Warrior Review, and Quarterly West, among other journals. She lives in Eugene, Oregon.
Praise for The Local News
“The Local News is the story of a life created around loss. Gershow’s book is deeply sympathetic, often painful, and always utterly believable. Not a book you’re likely to put down once started, nor to forget once finished, a remarkable achievement.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
“The Local News achieves two nearly impossible things: It’s a funny book about harrowing circumstances, and it’s a poignant book about high school. Gershow’s narrator, Lydia Pasternak, is droll, keen, and utterly engaging. I couldn’t put this novel down.” —Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector and About Grace
“Miriam Gershow has a fresh, funny and very engaging voice and a powerful story to tell, and Lydia Pasternak is a character you’ll miss long after the book is finished. I was charmed from the first page and undone by the last.” —Beth Gutcheon, author of Still Missing and Good-bye and Amen
“Miriam Gershow is a graceful novelist. The Local News is sharp and tender, bitter and sweet. It is, in short, what the news reports rarely give us—the human story, the one that resides deep in the heart, in this case, of Lydia Pasternak, a young girl struggling to define herself in the days and years following her brother’s disappearance. Her journey kept me captivated to the end.” —Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever and River of Heaven