Bunny Lake is Missing is a strange book, not only in it's story about a young single mother who looses her child, Bunny, only to be unable to convince anyone she ever existed, but also in a less pin point-able quality of the writing that left me in a constant state of unease.
The novel, which is reissued under the Femme Fatale series was written by one of the few pulp women writers of the time, Evelyn Piper (real name Merriam Modell). The book features the 1950's curiosity with psychology that inspired Hitchcock so much, but is written distinctly from a female point of view.
We are constantly inside Blanche (the forlorn mother)'s mind, and it's a messy place. We are never sure if her thoughts are those of a paranoid person or the reasonably over workings of someone going through real trauma.
Along the way in her lonely search for her child she meets with people and situations that also have a surreal feeling, so along with the police, who decide she must be crazy, you're not sure if anything happening to her is real.
Two men, a psychiatrist who finds Blanche irresistible in her anguish and a jerk off artist are the only people she can turn to in this unfriendly city called New York… but can they even be trusted?
In all the idea of the book and even this entry makes it sound just a bit more satisfying than the actual novel. Perhaps it's all the coincidences that make it feel dated, but Bunny Lake is Missing is still a worthwhile and mind bending book.
It was made into a very popular film in 1965 by Otto Preminger starring Carol Lynley and recently Reese Witherspoon pulled out of a remake just a month before shooting was planned to begin.
But what do you think?