I am so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Emily Bain Murphy’s mesmerizing debut novel The Disappearances. This book is so full of gorgeous writing and magical mystery, I didn’t want it to end!
When an author gives me a wine recommendation to enjoy while reading their book, I happily take it! When Emily told me that a glass of Nicora The Undisclosed would pair well with this book, I immediately had to find out why! First of all the name of the wine itself is perfect for this story, where it quickly becomes evident that the town of Sterling certainly has some major undisclosed secrets of its own. The flavor of the wine itself also pairs brilliantly with the story with it’s sweet hints of honeysuckle (flowers are really significant in this story). It also has a slightly acidic taste, which reminds me of some of the bitter secrets that Aila uncovers during this beguiling tale.
*All wine recommendations are strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*
About The Disappearances
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism
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.
With it’s wonderful characters, intriguing mystery, and expertly-crafted plot, The Disappearances had me completely under its spell from the very first page.
After her mother’s untimely death and her father’s deployment in WWII, Aila and her brother go to live with her mother’s childhood friend in the seemingly quiet town of Sterling, but it quickly becomes apparent to Aila that the people of Sterling have a dark secret, one that revisits them every seven years. One that just might have been caused by mother all those years ago.
It’s difficult to discuss the incredible magic that underlies the mystery of this novel without including spoilers, especially since I want to gush over the sheer brilliance of it. But I will say that it expertly maintains the reader’s suspension of disbelief while being absolutely awe-inspiring at the same time.
The mystery itself is enough to keep you turning those pages late into the night, but what makes it the ideal mystery for us voracious readers is that on her search toward uncovering the mysteries of Sterling, Aila has to follow a series of literary clues left behind by her mother. That’s right. LITERARY clues! Have you hit that pre-order button yet?!
I loved that this book was set in the 1940s. That was absolutely the perfect setting for this story. I don’t think the plot would have worked nearly as well if set during any other era. The tone of the story is so filled with hope, yet includes this undercurrent of melancholy, which rang true with what I imagine that decade would have actually felt like to live through. The way that Emily has written the dialogue of the story also really brought the time period and and characters to life for me.
The characters are wonderfully crafted. I was absolutely charmed by Aila and so many of the other characters in this story, while also being equally suspicious of them and the role that they played in the Disappearances. In any kind of mystery novel, having a cast brimming with unreliable characters is so much fun, and Emily certainly nailed that element here.
This book was enthralling, heartbreaking, and so much fun to read all at the same time. This is one that I know I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I certainly can’t wait to see more novels from Emily in the future!
About the Author
Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called Massachusetts and Connecticut home. She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017. Murphy currently lives in San Francisco with her family and is at work on her second novel.
Enter the Giveaway!
Prize: Win (1) of (3) copies of THE DISAPPEARANCES by Emily Bain Murphy
Follow the Blog Tour!
Thank so much to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting! Be sure to check out their site and the other amazing posts on this tour!
Have you pre-ordered The Disappearances yet? What are some of your favorite YA historical fiction novels? What are some of your favorite YA magical realism novels?