Missing May by Cynthia Rylant is a very special story.  It is about love, loss, and longing.  May has died, but Ob and Summer must live on.  But can they?  This is the story of their life immediately following this great loss.

…the first time I saw Ob help May braid her long yellow hair, sitting in the kitchen one night, it was all I could do not to go to the woods and cry forever from happiness.

If you have experienced being unwanted, once you are wanted, you recognize it for the precious thing it is.  Ob and May saved Summer, and she knows it.  You see, Summer experienced great loss even before she ever met May.  So the loss of May is particularly hard.  It is also hard on May’s husband, Ob.

I think Ob’s going to die, truly die, if I can’t figure a way to mend his sorry broken heart.

This story is about what grieving can look like, and how it is different for everyone.  It also chronicles the path beyond loss and what it can take to go on.  Sometimes, overcoming loss requires unexpected circumstances and people.  Sometimes making new memories helps, or being reminded of old ones.  And sometimes it takes an odd boy named Cletus, whose vinyl suitcase (and head) are both filled with ideas.

Who knows.  Who?


Copyright © Gienah Beaty,, 2016.  All rights reserved.  (Public Domain image by Alexandra courtesy of