Emily Bain Murphy’s The Disappearances overflows with marvels, literary and actual. The death of her mother forces Aila and her brother Miles to move to her mother’s hometown. Once there, Aila is immediately enmeshed in mysteries. Why do the people of Sterling hate her mother, and by extension, Aila and her brother? And why do the townspeople lose every seven years another human ability: to dream, to see the stars, and to hear music? Aila’s quest into her mother’s past gives us readers the chance to appreciate small-town America in WWII, teen romance, magic, and—most mysteriously!—the poetry of William Shakespeare. The Disappearances is a highly original and accomplished debut.
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.