Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme
(Overlook, 2014, 352 pages)
Missing Reels by Farran Smith Nehme is a novel set in New York City in the 1980’s. It is the story of Ceinwen Reilly who moved to NYC from Yazoo City, Mississippi. Ceinwen is a classic film buff who works in a vintage sales shop and attends classic film showings in her time off. One day Ceinwen discovers that her downstairs neighbor, Miriam Gibson, starred in a long lost 1920s silent film entitled the Mysteries of Udolpho. Ceinwen makes it her mission to try to locate a copy of the lost film as a surprise for her neighbor.
Missing Reels was an interesting read. Even the main character’s name, Ceinwen, is interesting. I spent the first several pages trying decide how to pronounce Ceinwen. Fortunately, the author finds a way to give the reader the pronunciation key which is KINE-wen. The other characters in the book are also fun to follow. There are Ceinwen’s roommates, Jim and Talmadge. There is the British on-again, off-again love interest, Matthew. And, of course, there is the silent film star, Miriam Gibson.
Missing Reels is the debut novel for Farran Smith Nehme. Since 2005, Farran Smith Nehme has been writing for her classic film blog, Self-Styled Siren. This novel is not one that I would have put on my “to read” list, but when I had a chance to read an advanced copy, I grabbed it. I’m glad that I did.