The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

When Aila’s mother Juliet dies and her father is drafted for the war, she and her brother Miles pack up and move to the city of Sterling to stay with her mother’s best friend. Sterling is also the city her mother grew up in, and it’s full of mysteries.

Not long after arriving, Aila and Miles find out that in the city of Sterling something new disappears every 7 years. Things like reflections, scent, and the stars are gone, and there are rumors that Aila’s mother was the catalyst for the disappearances starting. Aila is determined to take her mother’s notes and solve the mystery of Sterling and its disappearances once and for all.

The Disappearances was told in alternating POVs, between Aila and an ominous third party who is up to no good, however we don’t know who they are yet. Overall, I enjoyed the story and thought it was very unique! I’ve never read anything quite like this book, and Shakespeare was incorporated in the book pretty heavily, which I loved.

The one small qualm I had was around the pacing – I did feel like there were some parts in the middle that started to drag, and I felt like the relationship that occurred between Aila and a boy named Will could have been developed a little better. I felt more like I was being told that they liked each other rather than shown until the very end of the book. I absolutely loved the last third of the book. Everything fell together, and a lot of things were revealed and the pace picked up a lot. I was really curious about how the book would end, and I enjoyed the ending a lot.

The Disappearances was set in the 1940s, and I think the author did a great job of capturing the atmosphere and ambiance, and the writing was spot on. Overall, this was an impressive debut novel from Ms. Murphy, and I’m excited to see what she writes in the future! Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher, and Emily Bain Murphy for an advanced copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. The Disappearances is out now, so be sure to check this one out!

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