Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance
By Alison Espach
Henry Holt and Co., 9781250823144, May 2022, 352pp.

The Short of It:

This book met all my expectations and then some.

The Rest of It:

Sally adores her older sister Kathy. They are about as different as two sisters can be, and yet they managed to do quite well in their shared bedroom. Sure, they squabble but Sally looks up to Kathy because Kathy always knows the right thing to say or do. She is sophisticated without trying and yet when they are alone together, she shares all her insecurities with Sally, which makes Kathy flawed just like the rest of them.

One summer, as they while away their hours by the community pool, Kathy catches the eye of Billy. A good looking boy, working at the snack stand. After some missteps, the two fall hard for one another, which leaves Sally to observe her sister’s new found infatuation from afar. She can’t help but feel a little jealous because one, she wanted to spend the summer with Kathy and two, what would it be like to have a boyfriend like Billy? She wonders if she will ever have someone like him.

As the summer unfolds, Sally finds herself attached to Billy in a way that no one wants. Linked by tragedy, the two struggle to find a way to move on and let me tell you, it’s heartbreaking and poignant but in such a good way. Memory and what could have been, had me re-reading passages as I slowly turned the pages. These characters leap off the page and you feel for them.

I loved this book. I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked it up but it’s good and I didn’t want it to end. It will be on my fave list at the end of the year.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Good Neighbors

Good Neighbors
Good Neighbors
By Sarah Langan
Washington Square Press, 9781982144371, October 2021, 320pp.

The Short of It:

No good neighbors here. This is an example of how an entire neighborhood can fall prey to rumors, lies, and accusations if the right person makes it her mission to to see a neighborhood into ruin.

The Rest of It:

You might have a Maple Street in your neighborhood. That perfect cul de sac neighborhood, that borders a park, is home to many families and children, and yes, drama, lots of it.

One very hot summer, the maws of Maple Street literally open as a result of global warming and climate change. Their once idyllic neighborhood is now home to a very large sink hole. One that oozes noxious fumes and sludge that covers every surface, shoes, walls, car tires, carpets. You name it. The neighborhood kids, affectionately called The Rat Pack (sarcasm) congregate as best they can while the sink hole seems to have its own life. But when something happens to one of their own and the accusations start flying, the inhabitants of Maple Street begin to take sides and just short of a lynching, one family finds themselves as the target.

I found it interesting that the street in question is Maple Street. Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where all the neighbors turn on each other? It was called The Monsters are Due on Maple Street and that same title applies here. Seemingly sane people become anything but that. Common sense goes out the window and the family at the top of their list struggles just to live in this hostile neighborhood.

At first, my book club didn’t think there would be much to discuss but we took the entire time discussing the book and how, although a bit ridiculous when it came to the sink hole, we all agreed that a neighborhood could easily turn if the right person was stoking the fire. Think of your neighborhood groups like Next Door. I cannot belong to these groups. Their constant chatter about a kid on the corner, or a car driving by more than once, gives me anxiety. But it just takes one person to stir up hysteria in a neighborhood.

This was not an enjoyable read. There is a lot of nastiness going on but it was suspenseful even though much of the plot points are given away at the top of each chapter via news articles. I had absolutely no problem flying through this one. I had to know how it all ended given how grim the story was.

Have you read it? It was a good book to discuss.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.