Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Disappearances ~ Emily Bain Murphy (earc) review [@HMHKids @ebain]

The Disappearances
HMH Books for Young Readers
July 04, 2017
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

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 was much more of a fantasy than I was (for reasons that make no sense) expecting. Author Emily Bain Murphy had a fantastic premise with Sterling's "Disappearances" but it was how well thought out everything was that really made for a fantastic story.

The novel is set in the early 1940's and that added stressor - the danger, risk of injury or death and uncertainty - not only gives a plausible reason for Aila and Miles to move to Sterling but is something always on Ail'a mind.

The lack of technology also fits the world, Sterling, the Disappearances, who does or doesn't know about them, and the rumors that spread. It is easier to see Sterling as an isolated town and to have Aila more removed from her life back home.

I liked that the Disappearances were a bit of a known entity to those in Sterling, but that they also did not have all of the answers. All of their suppositions and theories and how they involve Juliet and pull Aila into the unknowns of her mother's past, made for a great mystery. It was both a young girl wanting ot find out about the parts of her recently deceased mother (and her mother's past) that she was previously unaware of, but more, too because it was also about solving a mystery.

The literary connections Aila tries to find, the possible clues and links were all very imaginative while also making perfect sense. You can understand both how she's able to find potential answers and how others could have failed to do so.

The Disappearances is a great mystery set at just the right time of real history, with a wonderfully imaginative fantasy world and lovely characters.

digital review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

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