Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Review for How Quickly She Disappears by Raymond Fleischmann

How Quickly She Disappears

publication: January 14th 2020 by Berkley 

The Dry meets Silence of the Lambs in this intoxicating tale of literary suspense set in the relentless Alaskan landscape about madness and obsession, loneliness and grief, and the ferocious bonds of family …

It’s 1941 in small-town Alaska and Elisabeth Pfautz is alone. She’s living far from home, struggling through an unhappy marriage, and she spends her days tutoring her precocious young daughter. Elisabeth’s twin sister disappeared without a trace twenty years earlier, and Elisabeth’s life has never recovered. Cryptic visions of her sister haunt her dreams, and Elisabeth’s crushing loneliness grows more intense by the day. But through it all, she clings to one belief: That her sister is still alive, and that they’ll be reunited one day.

And that day may be coming soon. Elisabeth’s world is upended when Alfred Seidel — an enigmatic German bush pilot — arrives in town and murders a local man in cold blood. Sitting in his cell in the wake of his crime, Alfred refuses to speak to anyone except for Elisabeth. He has something to tell her: He knows exactly what happened to her long-missing sister, but he’ll reveal this truth only if Elisabeth fulfills three requests.

Increasingly isolated from her neighbors and imprisoned by the bitter cold and her own obsession, Elisabeth lets herself slip deeper into Alfred’s web. A tenuous friendship forms between them, even as Elisabeth struggles to understand Alfred’s game and what he’s after.

But if it means she’ll get answers, she’s willing to play by his rules. She’s ready to sacrifice whatever it takes to be reunited with her sister, even if it means putting herself — and her family — in mortal danger. 

My Thoughts…

I have to say that I struggled through parts of this book.    I wanted to connect with the characters but they seemed so hard, so bitter, and so depressing.   They were living in a place that they didn’t enjoy.   They didn’t enjoy being with each other, they were the outcasts of the town. 

Then Alfred came into the story.    He brought with him twists and turns, had me guessing at what he could give to Elisabeth to make her happy again, and what it would cost her.  I wondered what his connection to Elisabeth’s twin was and if he could really help Elisabeth come to terms with her disappearance.   I didn’t like Alfred at all, I knew he was shady and that whatever he was up to it wasn’t going to end well for anyone involved.    But he was the reason that I kept reading.  

The ending…  oh the ending.   It was nothing I saw coming.   I had no idea how it would end.   Again, I didn’t like it, I didn’t see it coming, but it made sense and I am still not sure if I would have done anything differently if I would have been in Elisabeth’s place.  

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