By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
By Kate McCann (Bantam Press, $35.00, softcover, 392 pages)
A fascinating yet distressing story of a precious child’s disappearance, Madeleine is also about strength in adversity, tenacity and a fervent hope that this book will provide a vital breakthrough about her whereabouts.
Madeleine is about the dreadful things humans can do to one another, and this doesn’t take into account what may have happened to three-year-old Madeleine Beth McCann who was abducted four years ago.
What her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had to endure would be beyond comprehension. They have had to contend with slurs, accusations and published stories and books, often without substance, which have caused “great distress to our family” and importantly hindered the search for Madeleine.
Kate McCann writes: “Dealing with Madeleine’s disappearance has been almost all-consuming, leaving us little time or strength to address these further crimes against our family”.
They were a perfectly ordinary family, “boring, even”. Kate Healy was a GP married to Gerry McCann, a consultant cardiologist, living with their three beloved children – Madeleine, Sean and Amelie.
On 3 May 2007, just before her fourth birthday, Madeleine went missing from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. The nightmare began with an overwhelming sense of helplessness, fear and frustration.
Telling the story from a mother’s perspective injects authenticity and profundity that only comes from someone whose mind is imprinted with a breakdown of calamitous events. Necessary dimension is added with attention to detail and vivid recollections.
Countless hours of torment and contemplation have given the narrative a simple chronology that also draws you into the despair of their situation.
Gerry described 2004 as “our annus horribilis”, but that pales into insignificance with this tragedy.
Kate McCann makes no apology for this intensely personal account complete with family photographs: “nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl”.
Madeleine is a remarkably well-written chronicle of a horrible crime. It should be read because somebody holds a ‘key piece of the jigsaw’. Someone must know something.
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.