Disappearing Earth : a novel

by Julia Phillips

Ebook, 2019


New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.


"Splendidly imagined . . . Thrilling" —Simon Winchester"A genuine masterpiece" —Gary ShteyngartSpellbinding, moving—evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world—this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer.One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls—sisters, eight and eleven—go missing. 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.Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. 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 brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member MM_Jones
The premise of two young girls missing from the shoreline of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The story is told via detail of a cast of characters all, somehow, connected to the incident. Unfortunately it reads more like a collection of short stories, many parts were previously published, than the novel I was anticipating. High marks for the locale and the post-Soviet description, but low on the cohesiveness of the story.… (more)
LibraryThing member Beth.Clarke
The strength of this collection of short stories is how they relate to one another. It's rare to find such a creative approach to telling a story. It was difficult for me to keep the characters straight, but the character chart at the start of the book was very helpful. I was glad the characters had Russian names to add to the authenticness of the stories. How the tales come together at the end was pure genius. Definitely a best book of the year!… (more)
LibraryThing member Alphawoman
A very strange and interesting structure for telling a story. Taking an enormous cast of characters and weaving their stories together to a very satisfying climax made this book a real winner.
Though I dont understand some of the connections I may have just overlooked them.
I have never read any stories about the indigenous people of northern Russia. Probably the race that crossed over the strait to Alaska many centuries ago.
A fine book. Couldn't put it down.
… (more)


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