“The Runaway” is the story of a mother and child. Becca Ortiz is works for LAPD as a forensic psychologist. She is divorced and awaiting permission to adopt former runaway, previously homeless, and now foster teenager Ash. The story is about their complicated, sometimes traumatic, and yet always warm relationship. Overton creates a picture of a loving family yet one with fissures in its structure. Readers see the drama, tension, and rifts from both sides, from Becca as she struggles to make with a stable, loving, and safe environment for Ash, and from Ash as she struggles in a changing world with changing people and uncertainty at every turn.
The characters are complex and relatable with well-developed backstories included in the narrative. The story touches on the complex social problems of foster care, homelessness, and mental illness, with undercurrents of sadness, fear, and love.
The action is fast-paced, and the descriptions are realistic, frightening, and truthful. The emotions, and the push-and-pull of the relationships drive the plot, and questions pull readers through the story. Will they all make it? What will the future hold? This story keeps readers guessing right to the last page.
I listened to the audio version of “The Runaway” read by Christine Lakin, Cassandra Morris, and Erin Bennett. The narration was accurate, understandable, and brought the story and characters to life.