The Day That Went Missing

The Day That Went Missing

Non-Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Literary Biography & Memoir
Paperback Published on: 01/03/2018
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Day That Went Missing
very emotional
An extremely raw, honest emotional and heart-breaking read. Once I started this book I just couldn't put it down, this book will stay with me for a very lo... READ MORE
Gemma at Elgin


The family is Mum, Dad and four boys. I am second in a declension that goes 13, 11, 9, 6. My brother Nicholas Beard is nine. For nearly forty years I haven’t said his name, but in writing I immediately slip into the present tense, as if he’s here, he’s back. Writing can bring him to life.

Life changes in an instant. On a family summer holiday in Cornwall in 1978, Nicholas and his brother Richard are jumping in the waves. Suddenly, Nicholas is out of his depth. He isn't, and then he is. He drowns.

Richard and his other brothers don't attend the funeral, and incredibly the family return immediately to the same cottage - to complete the holiday, to carry on. They soon stop speaking of the catastrophe. Their epic act of collective denial writes Nicky out of the family memory. Nearly forty years later, Richard Beard is haunted by the missing grief of his childhood but doesn't know the date of the accident or the name of the beach.

So he sets out on a pain-staking investigation to rebuild Nicky's life, and ultimately to recreate the precise events on the day of the accident.

Who was Nicky? Why did the family react as they did? And what actually happened?

The Day That Went Missing is a heart-rending story as intensely personal as any tragedy and as universal as loss. It is about how we make sense of what is gone. Most of all, it is an unforgettable act of recovery for a brother.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781784703141
  • Number of pages: 288
  • Weight: 202g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 18 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Day That Went Missing
Honest, moving and memorable
Richard Beard was eleven years old when his nine-year-old brother Nicky drowned in the sea on a family holiday. The rest of his family never spoke of the i... READ MORE
Roz Morris