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.
Set in New England in 1942, Murphy's debut novel opens with 16-year-old Aila Quinn and her younger brother, Miles, saying farewell to their father, who has been drafted. Their mother, Juliet, died recently, so Aila and Miles must move to Sterling to live with Juliet's childhood friends, the Clifftons. Malcolm, Matilda, and their son are gracious hosts, but other residents of Juliet's hometown prove less than welcoming, and it's not long before the siblings find out why. Every seven years, the townspeople lose something, such as the ability to see reflections or smell. Nobody knows why the "Disappearances" happen, but they started the year Juliet was born, and she's the only one to have shed their effects upon leaving Sterling, so many believe that she's somehow responsible. With the next Disappearance Day rapidly approaching, Aila vows to discover the curse's cause, vindicate her family, and end the Disappearances for good. Sumptuous worldbuilding, richly developed characters, and a swoon-worthy romance elevate this delightful, fantasy-tinged mystery. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't scary but it has a lot of mystery and twists to it. And to me that was enough to make this story enjoyable. This story is taken place in 1941-1943. A young girl named Aila and her younger brother Miles. They have recently lost their mother. And their father is drafted into the war. So they are forced to move to and live with their mother childhood friend Mrs. Cliffton and her husband Mr. Cliffton and their son Will. Aila finds out that the town her mother grow up in. Something disappears every seven years. And no one understands why its been happening. Everyone blames Aila mother. Aila wants to find out what has caused these disappearances. And from there Aila finds out things that are connected and things she learned from her mother past along with her new friends. Again a really good book that I would reread in the future.
I loved this book. I will definitely read more of her work.