Title: The Disappearances
Author: Emily Bain Murphy
Genre: Magical Realism
Length: 385 pages
Release Date: July 4th, 2017
My rating: ♥♥♥♥♥+
Special Thanks: I want to thank Emily Bain Murphy and Michelle at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending me a copy of this novel for review. I’m so grateful!
What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.
Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.
No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.
As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.”
The Disappearances is a debut novel written by Emily Bain Murphy. It’s set in the 1940s and follows the experiences of Aila Quinn as she moves to the mysteriously strange town of Sterling. When their mother dies and father heads off into war, Aila and her younger brother Miles are taken to live with their mother’s old friend, Mrs. Cliffton, in Sterling. Aila is thrown into a world where The Disappearances happen – once, every seven years, something of value is taken from the people of Sterling.
First off, the author used Shakespeare’s work to build this entire world, which is creative, unique, and magical. Everything was infused with a fresh idea: The Disappearances, The Variants, The Virtues. And this “magic” was a part of daily life in Sterling. The Mystery of it all mixed well with the sentimental times of the 1940s. Magical Realism at its finest.
At its heart, The Disappearances is a carousel of sentimental acts, of regret, the many kinds of love, the people we love, and the ways people, places, and things never truly leave us even if they’ve been taken. The adventure to unravel the riddle of The Disappearances made my heart race. I hoped Will liked Aila as much as she liked him and I felt for Miles who missed his mother.
And I wondered what it would be like to lose something cherished every seven years. This book drew me in, took me for a ride, invited me into a hidden world where everyone is painfully human and flawed but important nonetheless.
If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and read it. If not for the beautiful cover (which I cannot stop touching), then for the beautiful tragedy of The Disappearances and the ways it will undo you in good ways.
The Author: Emily Bain Murphy