Friday, January 5, 2018

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

From my recent Locus review of The Disappearances, a WW2 era fantasy that includes a curse, a literary mystery, some grave robbing, and the disappearance of the stars:

Initially, Emily Bain Murphy’sThe Disappearances reads as straightforward historical fiction. It’s 1942 and teenage Aila is facing the stark reality of life in the wake of her mother’s recent death. To make matters worse, her father is off to the war in the Pacific and she and her younger brother Miles must go live with their mother’s oldest friend in Sterling, Connecticut, where she grew up. Aila knows very little about her mother’s childhood but is resigned to doing her best to fit in. Readers will feel immediate empathy for these children and their predicament but likely expect little in the way of fantasy from reading the first few pages. Then Aila and Miles arrive in their new home with the Clifton family and, in spite of the pouring rain that greets them, Aila is stunned to notice that Matilda Clifton remains completely dry. Clearly, everything in the seemingly dull town of Sterling is not as it appears. 

Highly recommended for those who like to see how things used to be done (before cell phones which would have made a lot of the clue-following in this book a lot easier!) and as a reminder that sometimes nothing beats hitting the library. (Cue relevant Doctor Who quote here!)

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