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  • Emily Brain Murphy


The disappearances by Emily Bain murphy was a novel I wasn’t expecting to read, but I went to the book shop and it intrigued me, so I bought it and really enjoyed reading it! It had such an interesting plot and was a book like no other I read before. It was refreshing and a joy to read.

The book was set in the war in 1942, and after two children, Aila and Myles, are evacuated to a town named sterling , where their mother grew up, after their father goes and fights in the war. They start to discover secrets in the town. Every seven years, something disappears from the town. In the past, people’s reflections have disappeared, the stars in the sky and the ability to dream. Also, both Aila and Myles are very unpopular in the town, since their mother escaped, able to run and leave the curse behind, when this is impossible for everyone else. The town think she is guilty for the curse and she started it, so Aila and Myles soon realise they are not welcome in the town, although they are staying with their mother’s best friend and her family.

Aila is determined to find out what or who caused the curse, and how to stop it. At the moment, only things called variants were able to stop it, which caused the things that had dissapeared to reappear for a very short while.

The book is in Aila's perspective, as she is the older sister and she is the one who is determined to discover answers. She also finds she has feelings with someone, and soon in the book she is unable to hide them anymore.

At first, I wasn’t hooked to the book as much but soon, as Aila started discovering answers it became much more interesting and I was soon unable to not read the book without it invading my thoughts.

The clever thing which developed the book even more was the fact that the book is related to Shakespeare. I really wasn’t expecting this as the book began, but as the novel went on I started to discover things which were so linked to the story line, in such a clever way. The reason it was linked to Shakespeare was Aila’s mother, before she abandoned the town, had started to link answers together about the curse, and had made many markings in a Shakespeare book which Aila finds when she leaves for Sterling. At the begging she has no idea why her mother had been doing this, but soon she starts to fit the pieces together, with the reader, and soon it all makes sense.

This is also developed the book in another way because sometimes in the book there were extracts of Shakespeare poems or stories, so you were reading about so many of his writings, but only little snippets of them. But this also developed my understanding of Shakespeare and the variety of what he wrote about.

During the book, there were chapters where the perspective changed to a different person who you didn’t know was related to what was happening in Sterling. His character develops the more the book goes on and you learn how he is related to the story of Aila. This gave the book a really positive affect as it gave you another story and another mystery, which meant you felt like you were reading two books at once!

The relationship between Myles and Aila were tested at times, but this meant that there was more of development of the two characters, and their relationship with each other as siblings. The book also included information about the war and what it was like to have a father fighting and how the children dealt with it. The story also had a little bit of romance in which developed the book even further and made it even more exiting and gripping.

Overall, by the end I really did enjoy this book a lot. It pulled at all of my emotions and it isn’t a book which will leave my thoughts for some time. I felt I really got to know the characters like they were real people, and I was sad to finish it. It is a young adult book but I think adults may enjoy it to. I would recommend it to ages 12+

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