Girls go missing all the time. Restless teenage girls, reckless teenage girls. Teenage girls and their inevitable drama. Sadie had survived a terrible loss, and with very little effort on my part, I dismissed it. Her. I wanted a story that felt fresh, new and exciting and what about a missing teenage girl was that? We’ve heard this story before.
So admits West McCray, the popular radio personality who inadvertently finds himself on the hunt for a missing girl, Sadie, and who shares his quest to find her on a serialized podcast called The Girls.
One of the earliest things I had to consider when writing Sadie was the way the world would receive her story—not only the world beyond the book, but the world within it. We live in a time where violence against women and girls is often consumed as a form of entertainment. The consequence of that is an indifference to female pain and suffering unless we’re entertained by it.
West, at first, can’t recognize the urgency of Sadie’s story because he doesn’t believe it has much of a hook. He’s proven wrong pretty quickly, but why did he ever think it needed one? As he follows the trail of clues Sadie’s left behind, West is forced to take a closer look at the privilege that allowed him his initial skepticism and indifference; maybe, just maybe, it’s not a missing girl’s responsibility to entertain anyone.
Maybe the real question is: what is our responsibility to a missing girl?
Thank you so much for reading Sadie.