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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 253

Missing May is a simple story about people overcoming grief at the loss of a loved one. When the novella opens, May is already dead. Her importance to Summer, the novella's narrator, quickly becomes evident. Summer had lost her parents when she was an infant. Her earliest memories are of being passed back and forth among her relatives. During a family gathering, May and her husband Ob saw Summer, a shy girl who was afraid even to ask for her share at the dinner table. They took her back home to West Virginia and instantly began turning their old trailer home into "a house just meant for a child." May and Ob were loving surrogate parents; May would call to Summer when Summer was playing, "Summer, honey, you are the best little girl I ever did know." But May and Ob were elderly, and after Summer had lived with them for six years, May died while working in her garden. Ob is devastated and seems to give up on living. Summer is very afraid. For her, the old trailer was heaven, because she had been taken from a loveless life to one in which she was loved all the time. She fears that coming to live with May and Ob was her one and only chance at happiness and that if Ob dies too, then her life will be miserable. Missing May tells of how she and Ob, with help from their odd friend Cletus, cope with their loss and find renewed love.

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