Review: The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Another book I received in a subscription box is “The Disappearances” by Emily Bain Murphy. I always do my best to try to use the clues the companies give to guess the books that will be included, but I was absolutely surprised by this choice! I was very delighted with the surprise, and I was so excited when I found out it was set in the 1940’s! I have been reading too much contemporary fiction recently and got really burnt out, and this was just the change I needed.

First, a synopsis from Amazon…

35529075Every seven years something disappears in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.

A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that may be.

So, the official synopsis doesn’t provide much information, so I’ll clue you in to the set-up for the series:

The year is 1942, and Aila’s mother has just died. She and her younger brother Miles are being sent to live with her mother’s best friend in a small town so their father can go fight in the war. Before she leaves, she comes across a volume of Shakespeare that her mother had scribbled over, as well as a letter to a mysterious individual accompanied by  a  ring. When Aila and Miles arrive in Sterling, they realize that the town is very odd: people don’t have reflections, some things don’t get wet when it rains, they can’t see the stars, they cease to dream, and all the color seems to leave their paints and crayons when they try to use them. The whole town believes that these Disappearances are linked to Aila’s mother, and she and her brother are ostracized. Continue reading

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

ncircusToday I will be reviewing The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a book that I have always lusted after reading but didn’t have the opportunity to until my mother-in-law was cleaning out a cabinet and saw it and said “Oh, I think you’d like this!” I was so excited that I finally had the chance to read it! I vaguely knew that it was about two rival magicians, and there was a circus, but not much else.

Before you dive in, I must let you know: the narrative is non-linear and concerns several different characters. For two chapters you may read about Marco, another chapter will throw you fifteen years ahead and will concern Bailey, then you will travel back and read about Celia for another three, then a clockmaker for another one, so you must pay attention to the chapter headings! Don’t be like me and have to skip back a few chapters just to reorient yourself. Though, don’t let this deter you! All of the characters are easily recognizable.

So, this book. This book is beautifully crafted! It is like a giant chess game. Each chapter is a piece moving, and you begin to see how the previous moves effect the final outcome. Though this book concerns Celia and Marco and the magic competition they are in, the real main character is the circus itself. Continue reading