The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
Every seven years something goes missing in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.
A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that might be.
Warning, this review contains spoilers. Read at your discretion.
This was a slow start kind of book. The story starts in Gardner, where Aila and Miles have been living their whole life, and it starts at the moment they are meant to leave for Sterling (the place where the Disappearances happen).
From the beginning the prose is rich and delightful and as much as the story was moving slowly at first, there were several moments when I just wanted to grab a pencil and underline or copy some of the phrases.
Thankfully, once we arrive to Sterling and get past the introductory days and being introduced to most characters, things pick up.
I have to say that the thing that stuck with me the most was how much Emily (the author) must love Shakespeare’s works. The amount of details, and the use of them through the book was impressive and left me admiring her skills. Retellings of Shakespeare’s works are relatively common, but The Disappearances does a magic act here and instead of retelling them, weaves them into the story so they are in a way the story but never a retelling nor do you feel like you’re just reading Shakespeare with fillers around it.
I loved the Variants, cringed a little on the idea of the Virtues and what Stefen kept thinking in his head (and totally wasn’t expecting the fact that he was atually related to Juliet), as soon as Tempest was introduced I wanted to try it, though I think it’d be too chicken to do it in such a public way as Aila did. I really liked the way the relationships develop and how they have found ways around issues and found hilarious the last “disappearance” (not that it was great or good to have that disappear but rather on what it implied and the consequences of it). There was some fun in it and that was enjoyable despite the direness of it all.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand what made Stefen change his mind and hint them on how to break the curse, but I am glad he did despite the way his own story ended. All in all, it was a good read, despite the slow start, and beautifully written.
This is not my usual kind of book but in a similar line there is Spellbook of the Lost and Found if you want something to go alongside.
Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.