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The Disappearance by Efrem Sigel

The Disappearance

by Efrem Sigel

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5115229,653 (3.47)2



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This was another LibraryThing Early Reviewer book. And this one was spectacular. Slow to get started, The Disappearance did pick up in pace, and by the end, I couldn't put it down. This novel tells the story of Joshua, Nathalie, and Daniel Sandler, before and after Daniel's mysterious disappearance one August afternoon. But it's not a mystery. The fact that Dan is missing is, rather, the fulcrum on which Josh and Nathalie's marriage teeters. The book tells the story of how their marriage is rent and the question the reader faces is whether the pieces of their marriage can be stitched back together or whether they will flutter apart for good. The undercurrent is, of course, the whodunnit of Dan's disappearance.

I really don't want to say much more about the plot, since I don't want to give it away. But Sigel excels in bringing the pastoral northeastern part of the country to life. He draws the landscape in breathtaking detail, so that the reader knows every inch of the land almost as intimately as Josh does. Josh was a sympathetic character, the distraught father, ceaselessly searching for his missing son. Nathalie, however, was a bit two-dimensional for me, but that could simply be a symptom of the way she expressed her grief; while Josh was spurred into frenzied action by his sadness and anger, Nathalie was stupefied and frozen by hers.

I can't say how much I enjoyed this book, which was wonderful, after the disappointment of the last Early Reviewer book I read. Four and a half out of five Whatevers. I think of myself as someone who requires a great deal of action out of her reading, in order to be satisfied. Despite the fact that there is very little action in this novel, or rather that the action occurs slowly, over a long period of time, I enjoyed the characters and the setting enough that this worked for me. And there was enough of a mystery behind Dan's disappearance that I wanted to hang in there and find out who, in fact, DID do it. Lovely. Just lovely. ( )
  Lexi2008 | Dec 28, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
unfortunately, it's just not my kind of book. i thought the responses that the characters had to the events was somewhat unrealistic - though, yes, it is a book and should be somewhat dramatic...and it is, don't get me wrong. i'm not a huge fan of this writing style with its inconsistent use of imagery. then again, i got an advance copy, so maybe there was some revamping in the final draft. i don't know.

read it by all means if it's your thing. :) ( )
  coolsnak3 | Oct 3, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I wanted to like this novel more than I actually did. The story grabbed me, but an inconsistency in writing style colored my otherwise positive take. A successful east coast couple’s comfortable life begins to unravel with the disappearance of their teenage son. I found the novel quite compelling as each parent dealt with the strain and grief over their missing son in very different manners. When the matter came to conclusion it was almost anti-climatic, as the tension had peaked for me as a reader by then. One thing I did find disconcerting was the author’s use of language in several descriptions of sexual activity. The scenes fit the story, the word choice did not. A healing encounter between husband and wife was described using graphic terms better suited to a badly written Hollywood smut novel. Similarly, a rude term for horse manure is used that seemed out of place in the rest of the passage. These disrespectful vulgarities stuck out in a novel that otherwise treated its characters’ sufferings with respect and compassion. ( )
  yapdogs | Aug 24, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The story deals with the emotional response of a husband and wife, Joshua and Nathalie, after their son, Daniel goes missing. I found the book to be hard to follow as the tense seemed to flip from past to present a lot. The story itself took a while to draw me in but it was good in that I did feel for the characters. It wasn't something I would normally read but I did like it. I didn't love it though. I found it difficult to read a story about a child going missing. ( )
  cathie9 | Jul 23, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was an interesting read. I expected it to be more of a mystery, but Sigel instead focuses on the interpersonal relationships between a husband and wife who have lost a child. I found this aspect of the book to be very interesting. Sigel did include multiple sexual scenes that would not have bothered me so much if he hadn't reverted to the vulgar slang of an adolescent boy to describe the encounters. I also struggled with the majority of the book being written in the present tense. I know that this is a style that can be effectively used, but Sigel often slipped in and out of it instead of remaining consistently in one tense or the other. ( )
  curls_99 | May 22, 2009 |
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When Joshua and Nathalie Sandler's only child, 14-year-old Daniel, disappears one flawless summer day in a tiny hamlet in western Massachusetts, their world changes in an instant. Over the next year, Joshua neglects everything else to search ceaselessly for their son while Nathalie, a beautiful and gifted cellist, withdraws into herself, unable to play even a note of music. Sigel's novel immerses us in the Sandlers' world. We see the various townspeople who might be involved in this disappearance and its aftermath: the mean-spirited president of the Board of Selectmen, neighbors who either come forward to help or who hide evidence, a deeply human police chief, half a dozen troubled teenagers, and a dark-haired, passionate young woman with secrets of her own, who is drawn to Joshua and his plight. With lyrical prose and suspense that builds inexorably toward a resolution, Sigel portrays the anguish of parents, who, despite their crushing burden of uncertainty and grief, must continue to live their lives. While the mystery of Dan's disappearance deepens, Joshua and Nathalie struggle to find a new meaning to their existence and to discover, finally, whether a marriage that has come apart piece by piece can ever be made whole again.… (more)

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