Read The Hands of Strangers by Michael Farris Smith Online


First published in 2011 by Main Street Rag Publishing....

Title : The Hands of Strangers
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780932112712
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 119 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Hands of Strangers Reviews

  • Annet
    2019-05-04 05:56

    The tube stuck under Jon's arm like an appendage, as he never left the apartment without it, while she waited in the apartment, the winter light disappearing early in the evening, closing the apartment walls in on her while she waited and waited and waited. She knows if she picks up the tube and opens it, her next move will be to the kitchen with the map and cigarettes and bar stool. She knows that the duffel bag is empty but that it will have that feel - that feel of the metro halls, of the hands of strangers. Look for the good, she thinks as she avoids the corner as if it were occupied by a pack of rabid dogs...This year I read the three books of Michael Farris Smith. Rivers, Desperation Road and now The Hands of Strangers. I like his books and style of writing, though all dark stories. This book, The Hands of Strangers, played in another scene than US, Paris. It is also a dark book, I actually had to stop some times reading, for the dark desperation of the story really got to me. It's about a couple who live in Paris, whose little daughter has been taken from a school trip and since has disappeared. A story we often read about in the papers. The couple looks for her all over in Paris, spread posters, wait by the phone, and we follow their separate processes of dealing with this growing desperation, slowly going down as well as their relationship falling apart. I won't disclose any more as it would be spoiling. Suffice to say the book is a mix of desperation and hope. The end was a surprise for me. Solid writer, dark stories but look forward to his new books. Four stars.

  • Carol
    2019-04-30 07:40

    Wow! Unbelievable......not that I've read all four of Michael Farris Smith's novels, but that I've actually rated each one 5 Stars.....and for me, well deserved they are.After DESPERATION ROAD, (my favorite) IN THE BEGINNING and RIVERS Smith's debut, IN THE HANDS OF STRANGERS (great title) was high on my to-locate list and lucky me found one left on-line at BN.While only a short 115 page novella, I was nonetheless immediately swept away by a story of love meant to be in an atmospheric Paris.The storyline is a fairly simple one, but distressing with the abduction of nine year old Jennifer. The search is intense as the reader experiences the parent's loss and despair as if they too are walking the streets and living the nightmare.Week after week and drink after many a drink, a desperate Jon and Estelle struggle to keep their sanity and hold their marriage together hoping for a call, an update or any scrap of information leading to the whereabouts of their little girl....and the first one finally comes.With a little faith and a lot of hope, in the end, there is healing and forgiveness.Engaging short read that did not feel rushed. Highly recommend all of Michael Farris Smith's work and look forward to THE FIGHTER coming out in 2018.

  • Cheri
    2019-05-24 09:41

    Near the end of this past November, I read my first Michael Farris Smith novel, ”Desperation Road”. It was one of those stories that grabs you from the first pages and pulls you in. I loved it, loved the story, the characters, the writing. This afternoon, the mail delivered a copy of ”In the Hands of Strangers” which I’d ordered just days ago after noticing my goodreads friend Carol's five star review. I knew it was a novella, and I couldn’t wait, I had to begin this 115-page story.Jon and Estelle meet, fall in love in Paris, they have a child - a girl – Jennifer. They live a fairly simple, happy life until one day when Jennifer, now nine years old, disappears from a class field trip to the Musee d’Orsay. We can’t imagine someone else’s pain under any circumstance, but when a child is abducted, life is turned upside down and nothing makes sense, and yet for Jon and Estelle, life still had to go on. They search when they can, Jon hands out flyers when he’s not working, and they try to hold on to hope, to each other, while they each search for a way to navigate this horror and hold onto what remains of their sanity and their love. Jon finds small degrees of distraction in more than one avenue. For Estelle, she tries to find faith in small miracles. She comes to believe that if only Jon will share her faith, will believe in the providence of small miracles, their faith will be rewarded. Compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately heartwarming story about families, faith, healing, love and forgiveness, this novella by Michael Farris Smith’s ”In the Hand of Strangers” joins ”Desperation Road” in my highly recommended books. I’m sure ”In the Beginning” and ”Rivers” will follow soon. Not as soon, unfortunately, ”The Fighter” which will be published Spring 2018.Carol's review:

  • Karen G
    2019-05-03 07:56

    This is the third book I've read this year from this author, and a third 5 star rating.This book is very different from Desperation Road (my favorite), and Rivers.This novella takes us to the streets of Paris. John and Estelle's nine year old daughter goes missing during a school trip to a museum. We see their devastation and the toll this takes on their marriage as the months have gone by, and their hope is waning.

  • Elyse
    2019-05-18 02:00

    "It is the first time she has lain in Jennifer's bed. She has been afraid to spend too much time in the room, afraid that being in her place might be a sign of replacing her, of moving on. But as she lies in the bed now, the fit of her body to the twin size bed pacifies her, holds her like a hand holding a wounded bird". Every parents worse nightmare....Jennifer, 9 years old, vanishes during a class field trip.I found this ebook novella on Bookshout for 99cents. I would rather have bought it on Amazon for 99 cents. ( it's not available). SUGGESTION TO MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH..."Get this book on Amazon"!!! I rather read ebooks on a clear-reading-screen which fits nicely in my hand: (my paper white)! I rather not hassle with technical transfers. I'm sure more books would sell. I wasn't crazy about my first Bookshout technical reading experience. Other than my physical reading dis-pleasureI, I was deeply pulled into this story. Jon and Estelle are grieving individually and together over their missing child. Flyers are put out daily and everywhere. Estelle is never far from the phone ....there is hope .....-secrets - anger- venting- drinking- cigarettes ( anything to pacify the pain). Jon meets a woman one day while passing out flyers who is a painter. ( he had stopped in a bar for a drink). Iris offers to paint a portrait of Jennifer. When Estelle sees the painting she flips. There relationship begins to spiral down deeper....There are a few ways this story can end, ( of course I'm not telling), but here's something I thought about: .............."a single tragic event can shape generations of lives... can't it?"So no matter what the outcome is....( you'll want to know), these characters lives are altered forever. Readers are in the hands of a very gifted author......the writing is richly intimate. Michael Farris Smith is becoming a new 'favorite'!!!! His novel "The Rivers" is riveting!!!

  • Linda
    2019-04-28 04:53

    Oh......"But it was like being told to prepare for a bullet."Jon and Estelle hold each other's hands as if in a death grip. The close proximity offers them but little warmth or comfort. It's all a futile exercise of moving aimlessly within the walls of their darkened Parisian apartment. They wait anxiously for news that they hope will never come.Jennifer, their nine year old daughter, had been abducted while on a school field trip to the Musee d'Orsay. One minute she was in the midst of the other children focused on works of art, and in the next moment, she was gone. The police scour the area with no apparent clues. No one seemed to have captured a glimpse of her leaving the museum. And with whom?Months pass and Jon has taken to the streets with daily trips through the neighborhoods putting up posters of Jennifer. He hands out flyers to passers-by bearing the image of his missing child. Jon finds it harder and harder to stare at this face with chin upturned offering so much promise.Estelle rarely leaves their apartment with its tunnel-like confinement. Her greatest fear is that the phone may ring and they won't be there. She tacks up maps of the neighborhood and highlights the areas where Jon has passed out flyers. Estelle takes her station at the window, smoking and waiting.Michael Farris Smith presents the story of a young couple torn apart as they go through the motions of trying to deal with the abduction of their only child. The impossible weight of that reality is almost too much to bear. Putting one foot in front of the other every day is a profound effort for one. Giving additional care and comfort to the other is a massive undertaking as a couple. There is little left in the well of hope.As Jon takes to the streets with his flyers, he spots a painting in a local bar. The bars of Paris seem to beckon him in these days. The owner gives him directions to the artist's studio. It is here that he meets Iris. Smith implements the character of Iris as an impasse between past, present, and future.Loss takes up residence in the hearts and inner sanctums of both Jon and Estelle for which no other soul is bid welcome.The Hands of Strangers goes deep. Smith has an almost impossible task of leading you into the shadowy recesses of this couple's agony. But it is also here in which Smith catches the faint light of hope with wisps of courage amid the walls of despair. For this we know, the spark of connection dims, but it never dies. I highly recommend this incredible novella as well as Desperation Road which was my favorite book of 2016. I will be reaching for Rivers soon. Smith loops emotion around each sentence and phrase like a cool breeze on a hot day. This is talent beyond compare.

  • Emerald Barnes
    2019-05-16 04:59

    If you haven't read this novella, you are seriously missing out. I started it and couldn't put it down! Michael F. Smith captures the of pain these two characters brilliantly, and even those of us who don't have children can imagine how terrible the prospect of not knowing where your child is or if she is dead is. The story follows Jon and Estelle in Paris as they search for their child, and I guarantee that you'll feel like you are there with them. Brilliant book!

  • Kendall
    2019-05-07 03:59

    In this gripping tale of a child's abduction and the struggles of one couple to hang on to hope despite all odds, Michael F. Smith evokes the darkest fears a parent can imagine. His prose is clean and spare, his eye for detail, impeccable. The reader is transported, not to the Paris seen by tourists, but to the small streets and back alleys, the metro stations and small cafés.

  • Debra
    2019-05-14 07:36

    deciding between a 3.5 and 4 rating

  • Nathan Oates
    2019-04-28 09:33

    This is an excellent, intense novella. The premise is rich with pathos in itself: a nine year old girl goes missing while on a school field trip in Paris and her parents are forced to face the uncertainty and anxiety of her absence. Smith does a perfect job of building tension in a way that keeps you reading, while digging deep into the characters - their back stories, and their reactions to the crisis. The story is frightening, emotional, and complex. This novella will soon be released as an e-book by Simon & Schuster and I suggest everyone get a copy.

  • Alex
    2019-05-13 09:52

    Good psychological work in this short story. You get captured from the beginning. For me the disappearance of the little girl was the main plot. the other plot that actually makes the plot of this book was a bit unnecessary and i am sure the story would have done very well without it. the psychological study of the parents, of their everyday struggle is fantastic. the other plot would had made eventually a story of its own, with its own psychological consequences. here wasn't that convincing, just because the abductee story was so powerful.

  • Dem
    2019-05-17 04:38

    Review to follow

  • Lisa Jo
    2019-05-08 05:32

    After reading Desperation Road my favorite book of this year so far, I wanted to read the other books that Michael Farris Smith had written. The Hand of Strangers did not disappoint. It just ensures that I will continue to read his books. A beautifully written book about a not so beautiful topic. One of the most haunting last lines of a book I have read. Smith writes about relationships in a real and raw form. This novella may lack pages, but it does not lack emotions. Due to the shortness of the book the author is forced to compact his story, leaving the reader with a book/novella where every sentence and word matters.

  • Janna Childers
    2019-05-14 04:44

    This little book accomplishes a lot. It is captivating from the get-go, pulling you into this world of paris cafes and countless cigarettes where two people are trying to get through the unthinkable — their 9-year-old daughter went missing. As the story unfolded I found the two main characters, Jon and Estelle, remarkably compelling. They struggled and failed and spiraled into darkness, but always managed to catch sight of a glimmer of hope. And that hope, although quite small, was able to gracefully carry me through their bleak world. Overall, this story of pain and loss and the unknown is able to be both heart-wrenching and hopeful. A great read.

  • Evelyn
    2019-04-29 03:00

    There were parts that were so good and the other was just so slow. It was like taking a 300 page novel down to the bare bones. I'm not a Paris fan so all the places that were mentioned I had no clue. Just wasn't for me