Cylin Busby and her father, John, co-authored The Year We Disappeared, their family's true story. John, a policeman, was shot on his way to work, and his family had to move to another state in an attempt to stay hidden from the would-be killer. The memoir captures their fear, anger, and pain. Here's what Cylin shared with me upon learning that her book was selected to be our non-fiction recommended read this month.
When I heard that our memoir was a recommended read for June at readergirlz, along with Sweethearts, I have to admit that at first, I didn't see the connection. I’ve read Sweethearts, tore through it, actually, in one night because I had to see what happened. To me, it read like a thriller, despite the soft, sweet title. Readers have described our memoir as a "thriller" too, a book you can't put down, so maybe that's why the postergirlz panel recommended us? But when I thought about it a little more, I started to see the threads come together: buried fears, hidden truths, keeping secrets, questions about identity, fear and lonliness. All of these are in both of our books, one fiction and one nonfiction.
In some ways, I am like Cameron. I know now that when our family was relocated, when we "disappeared," the friends I left behind were just as confused as Jenna is about her friend's disappearance. Like Cameron, something terrible had happened to me, to my family, and then suddenly, I just wasn't there, our whole family was gone without a trace. But in other ways, I am like Jenna, too - I had to recreate myself when we lived in hiding, to become someone else, someone that those terrible things had never happened to. I did not change my name, but I did cut my hair, hide my glasses, wore the jeans that everyone else was wearing, and faked a Southern accent to fit in.
Thanks to the postergirlz for choosing us as a good fit with Sweethearts, I have to agree. And I'm honored to be in the company of such talented writers and amazing books. I feel like the outsider sitting at the popular kid lunch table yet again...
- Cylin Busby
Check out all of this month's recommended reads.