Title: Disappearing Earth: A Novel
Author: Julia Phillips
Published: 2019 (Alfred A Knopf, Penguin Random House LLC, New York)
Genre: Fiction, Novel, Thriller, Child Abduction, Russian
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I was thinking about the quote above from the famous Russian novel as I read Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips. Phillip’s novel tells the story of the disappearance of two girls from the Kamchatka peninsula in Far East Russia (a real place, by the way). Each chapter accounts a different character/family that is somehow related to the abduction. The novel is a well-written narrative that speaks of a community’s vulnerability and how they react to the tragedy. The book covers a wide variety of topics such as nationalism, acceptance, family, identity, love and youth.
Each character is influenced or affected by the abduction in some way, gaining insight into each family and their dynamics. The book doesn’t only describe how they were affected, but their current predicaments and identities. I was drawn into the story. And despite the novel having some dry points, it kept me on my toes about who is involved and how. The story is emotional and heartwarming, but speaks of issues among the people of Kamchatka before the kidnapping. The story is ultimately about the people.
I’ve been really interested in mysteries and thrillers recently. I’m planning on diving into more books of those genres, and not only because this month is spooky month. My next book is supposed to be scary, and I’m hoping to finish it by Halloween, Oct. 31st. Maybe I’ll have a review published that day?
Finally, I give this book a 4 out of 5!