- 5,99 €
Beautifully written, thought-provoking, intense and cleverly wrought, this is the most extraordinary first novel from a mesmerising new talent.
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the north-eastern edge of Russia, two sisters are abducted. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.
Set on the remote Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth draws us into the world of an astonishing cast of characters, all connected by an unfathomable crime. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty – densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska – and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.
In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel provides a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.
Praise for Disappearing Earth
"A genuine masterpiece, but one that is easily consumed in a feverish stay-up-all-night bout of reading pleasure."
“Suspenseful, original and compelling, Disappearing Earth is a strange and haunting voyage into a strange and haunting world.'
Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of The Romanovs
“Julia Phillips is at once a careful cartographer and gorgeous storyteller... . A mystery of two missing girls burns at the center of this astonishing debut, and the complexity of ethnicity, gender, hearth and kin illuminates this question and many more.”
Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
'A knock-out... .The stitches of Phillips’s language make you go, Damn, that’s good.' The Los Angeles Review of Books
'A superb debut.' New York Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Your average thriller will save all its devastating actions and twists for the final pages. Julia Phillips is only interested in defying expectations with her extraordinary debut novel. Disappearing Earth begins with a shocking kidnapping of two young sisters. From here, the New York author connects us to the women whose lives are irreversibly changed by the abduction. Philips’ storytelling is wonderfully assured for a debut novelist and the remote shorelines of Russia’s Kamchatka peninsulas are an evocative setting for a spellbinding story of community. As we move from mountains and forests to tundra and volcanoes, the strong sense of place reflects the emotions of our characters: isolated, claustrophobic, wild and—at times—lost.
In the opening chapter of Phillips's exceptional and suspenseful debut, two sisters Sofia, 8, and Alyona, 11 vanish from a beach on the Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Russia, and their disappearance sends ripples throughout the close-knit community. The subsequent 12 chapters, taking place during the months over the following year, chart the impact of the potential kidnapping and the destructive effect of longing and loss and play out in a series of interconnected and equally riveting stories about others in the surrounding area. "April" peeks into the day-to-day of a policeman's restless wife, who, while on maternity leave, is haunted by missed opportunities and " things darker, stranger, out of bounds." In "May," shrewlike Oksana, the abduction's only witness, severs ties with a colleague after the colleague's absentminded husband loses Oksana's beloved dog. The penultimate chapter unites some of the book's disparate threads, and follows Sofia and Alyona's anxious and emotionally ravaged mother, Marina, as she meets a photographer at a solstice festival who uncovers a potential link to an earlier unsolved missing-persons case and an important clue about who the perpetrator of both crimes might be. The discovery leads to a truly nail-biting climax and the novel's shocking conclusion that even eagle-eyed readers might not see coming. Phillips's exquisite descriptions of the desolate landscape and the "empty, rolling earth" are masterful throughout, as is her skill at crafting a complex and genuinely addictive whodunit. This novel signals the arrival of a mighty talent.