The Disappearances by Emily Bain MurphyThe Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

The Disappearances

byEmily Bain Murphy

Hardcover | July 4, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.91 online 
$24.99 list price save 28%
Earn 90 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


What if the ordinary things in life suddenly? disappeared?

Aila Quinn's mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila's reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home-and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together-scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream-vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these Disappearances," or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible-and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn't going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Tokyo and Hong Kong, graduated from Tufts with a major in creative writing, and now lives in San Francisco with her family. The Disappearances is Emily's debut novel. Visit her at and on Twitter at @EBain.
Title:The DisappearancesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.34 inPublished:July 4, 2017Publisher:Houghton Mifflin HarcourtLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0544879368

ISBN - 13:9780544879362


Rated 4 out of 5 by from enchanting this book was quite fun to read, i was surprised that it was historical, i thought it was set in modern times :D anyway, i enjoyed the adventure of aila and her brother finding out about the town, the curse, their mother, and how they didn't know as much as they thought they did. overall a nice read, not dark or anything like that :)
Date published: 2018-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mystery, Magic & Secrets Aila Quinn and her brother Miles are sent to live with the Cliffton family after their mother dies and their father is drafted to fight in the war. While packing to leave, Alia finds a mysterious note recently written by their mother, Juliet. It is attached to a collection of Shakespeare's works and addressed to someone named Stefen. The message reads 'You will find what you asked for within this. I will always love you' and she has signed it 'Viola'. On the train Aila discovers something else. Hidden inside the book is her mother's ring that she never took off. She obviously meant it for Stefen, but why? Upon arriving in Sterling, an isolated farm town where Aila's mother grew up, Aila and Miles meet the Clifftons, who are warm and welcoming. Matilda Cliffton was Juliet's best friend from childhood and thinks of the children as family. Aila's new room is cheerfully decorated and there is a framed photo of her mother and Matilda when they were school girls, prominently on display. However, Aila quickly notices some strange and unusual things happening around her. There are no mirrors in the bathroom and none of the flowers in the Cliffton's garden have a scent. It becomes clear to Aila that her mother had secrets. Juliet barely ever spoke of Sterling or her life there. She had strange moods and referred to people in her past, but without detail. As much as Matilda loved Juliet, not everyone in the town was fond of her. There are those who are not happy to have her children there either. Every seven years things the residents take for granted in life - reflections, colours, even dreams, disappear. Two neighbouring towns are also affected and along with Sterling are referred to as the Sisters. A council was formed and a decision was made to keep the secret of these Disappearances from the rest of the world. This would hopefully protect them from outside elements trying to exploit their afflictions. Sterling is an odd, mystical place. From the moment they are born, the citizens are unable to see the stars, smell flowers or see themselves in a mirror. Visitors to the town are only affected for as long as they are there. Solutions in the form of crystal dust, pastes and liquids have been created to allow some of the Disappearances to reappear temporarily. Although these 'Variants' are readily available to buy, there also exists a black market for illegal and dangerous ones. Aila is determined to solve the mystery behind what is happening in Sterling, find out who her mother really was and clear her name. Juliet was the only person who was ever able to completely regain her senses upon leaving a Sister City. Many believed her to be the Catalyst - the original cause of the Disappearances. Is this somehow connected to her relationship with the mysterious Stefen? Aila misses her mother terribly and while she works on the clues her mother left behind, she feels closer to her. Aila makes a fine heroine. She is a stubborn, curious and courageous girl with a loving heart. Even though her brother drives her crazy, she cares deeply for him. She performs thoughtful actions to keep the spirit of their mother alive for both of them. With the absence of their parents, she strives to protect Miles emotionally and physically. The Disappearances made me grateful for the simplest pleasures. It is a thrilling book full of secrets and surprises. Recommended, especially to readers who enjoy mysteries, dark fairy tales and magical stories.
Date published: 2017-08-18

Editorial Reviews

A Bookish Must Read YA Book of the Summer A Barnes & Noble Teen Most Anticipated Book of the Second Half of 2017 A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year, 12-14 category The Disappearances is a delicious mix of mystery, fantasy and romance." - Bookpage "At its heart, The Disappearances is a carousel of sentimental acts, of regret, the many kinds of love, the people we love, and the ways people, places, and things never truly leave us even if they've been taken. The adventure to unravel the riddle of The Disappearances made my heart race."- Ravenous for Reads "How do we find the words to emphasize just how much we loved and enjoyed this novel? 'The Disappearances' had us captivated within it's spell from the very first page? was just beautiful, heartbreaking and irresistible? We definitely recommend this read and we are warning you, remember the name 'Emily Bain Murphy' as she is a rising author who will just leave you in awe, page after page! - Pocket Full of Pages "Thick with mystery, buried secrets, and magic, nothing is safe in The Disappearances . Be careful, or you might lose yourself in this strange and wondrous world, where stars go missing, reflections don't exist, and the question, how much would you sacrifice for love? is given entirely new meaning. I adored this book!"- Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of CARAVAL " The Disappearances is purely poetic-a beautifully woven story with enough heart to take on its own life."- Lindsay Cummings, New York Times bestselling author of THE MURDER COMPLEX " The Disappearances is a dazzling debut, as glimmering as the Variants themselves, with a haunting mystery, wondrous world building, and a finely wrought family at its heart. I adored it." - Jessica Spotswood, author of The Cahill Witch Chronicles ? " Sumptuous worldbuilding, richly developed characters, and a swoon-worthy romance elevate this delightful, fantasy-tinged mystery." -PW, starred review " ? delightfully whimsical and unsettling? a story bursting with color and originality." -Kirkus " The riddle behind the town's curse is an intricate and surprising one, and readers will happily join the clever and witty Aila on her hunt for clues." -Bulletin ". . . Murphy's debut is no doubt ambitious . . . expertly woven world, spun with secrets, lush with literary allusion, and shimmering with magic (quite literally), is a place many readers will happily disappear into." -Booklist "The Disappearances is a book of wonder and mystery by first time novelist, Emily Bain Murphy. It is well crafted and the plot is memorable and complex. Shakespeare's words help solve the mystery, leaving the reader with a sense of hope as well as awe. This book should appeal to young adults and adults. The eloquent writing style and the well-researched inclusion of historical details make it memorable. Aila and Miles often use one word to summarize an experience, calling it a finishing word. My finishing wordafter reading The Disappearances is sublime." - Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE, an ALAN pick Nov/Dec 2016 "