The Vanishing starts slowly but draws the reader into the atmospheric plot, towards the bleakness of the moors giving them a story of deceit and loss of innocence..
The protagonist Annaleigh is an orphan adopted and raised by a painter, Jared. He offers Annaleigh a home and raises her as his own. She loves Jared as a father but after a family conflict she decides to leave her home accepting a job opportunity as a house keeper, up in Yorkshire Moors.
From the point she arrives the moors; the vast openness of the area, the difference in people’s accent, behaviour and customs draws her into loneliness. Her employers, widow Hester and her strange brother Marcus Twentyman are a puzzle to solve
Everyone who knows the Twentymans are warning Annaleigh, to be careful, to leave that house, to not to fall the charms of Master Twentyman. There is also the question of the previous maid, Kate. Twentymans say that she stole from them and run away- although her personal belongings still lay there in the servant room.
Annaleigh drawn into a confusing relationship with her employers. She will discover their intentions but this will be costly…
“Of course he knew I had nowhere to go. I had told him a thousand times – in my words, in my looks, in my need to belong. I felt I had been strong, but he had read a thousand secret signs of my weakness. And I would be punished for it.”
I love the way the story was told. I loved the tense atmosphere between Twentyman household, the realism in the brutal difficulty of being a servant. The psychological games, the open air prison feeling of the moors/house were successfully structured. I wasn’t mad about the ending, I am not a fan of epilogues to be honest. Probably the reason I am not giving a five star to this book is the way it ended.
One more thing I couldn’t help to notice was that the dialogue between characters being too modern for Victorian era.
“Do not turn away like that, as though you were some stupid conventional lover spurned.” says Annaleigh to another character, which I cannot place in the mouth of a Victorian lady. Her attitude is also very modern but I think you can kind of overlook that thinking she was raised by an artist.
I would recommend this book for those who liked Fingersmith (Sarah Waters), and The Observations (Jane Harris)
I would like to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Vanishing will be on sale 25.01.2018