Series: N/A (Sadly)
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world believes is dead.
When she arrives at the Sinclairs' enormous estate on Lake Superior, Julia begins to suspect that there may be sinister undercurrents to her "too-good-to-be-true" position. As Julia delves into the reasons of why Amaris chose to abandon her successful writing career and withdraw from the public eye, her search leads to unsettling connections to her own family tree, making her wonder why she really was invited to Havenwood in the first place, and what monstrous secrets are still held prisoner within its walls.
Fun fact about me: if I read a book that scares me, I will run past the windows in my house. It's been like that ever since I was super young - if I watch a scary movie, I run past the windows. It goes both ways - and let me tell you, The Vanishing definitely incurred some window-running. Which in my mind, is always a good thing!
I picked this one up on a whim, and I'm glad I did! Because it turned out to be a fantastic read, with a wonderful atmosphere! It reads like a modern gothic novel, taking place in an old old house. The writing alone was enough to give me chills. (And it did, repeatedly.) I found myself constantly questioning each decision made, and each and every character. I felt like I couldn't trust any of them, so I just... didn't.
The premise intrigued me - a woman who's supposed to be dead, living out in a haunted house, and her son who arranges for a caretaker - who doesn't really appear to be needed. I found Julia to be a rather likable character. She just... aside from seeing things and hearing things, she seems like a fairly normal person. When the house is empty and something talks to her... she runs. Like any sane person in her situation would do! I just nearly clapped when that happened - I was afraid that she might try to go all paranormally and talk to it - but no. She did good.
I also liked the "love interest", Andrew McCullough. He was super adorable, and really very sweet. He was all Scottish and manly and just adorable - I have such a weakness for the Scottish.
I enjoyed Mrs. Sinclair - she was eccentric as all get out, but she had a good heart, even if it was hidden in a delightfully weird packaging. I hope I'm a cool old lady like her - when I get that old, of course. ;)
Serious chills happened with the ghosties, though. Serious chills. There was a moment in the beginning - a little girl, floating, singing. "Sing a song of sixpence / A pocketful of rye". That's pretty much imprinted in my mind. There were several moments that made me freak out - in a good way.
I loved the fact that the whole novel was focused on the build-up, but I feel like the end scene was a little rushed. The epilogue completely made up for it, though. It left me with a sense of not everything adding up - and it was good. It made me wonder how crazy our main character was; and I just didn't want it to end.
All in all, I definitely recommend The Vanishing. I want you all to read it, because I loved it. I tweeted this when I finished, and it definitely still applies.
I am literally terrified right now. @wendykwebb 's The Vanishing is genius you guys, genius. That ending was fantastically creepy. O.o
— Megan@The Book Babe (@MVTheBookBabe) December 10, 2013