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Watch Me Disappear

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Tina Humber is 40 and living in the States when a moment of panic about her 10 year-old daughter triggers the memory of her childhood friend, Mandy Baker, who went missing at the same age from the sleepy Cambridgeshire village where they grew up. As Tina replays events and the past comes back to life, she begins to suspect the awful truth of what happened to Mandy. But aft ...more
Published January 1st 2007 by Sceptre (first published November 1st 2006)
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Kathleen Hagen
Watch Me Disappear, by Jill Dawson. A.
narrated by Jillie Bond, produced by Isis, downloaded from
This is a very disturbing book, but well written and extremely well narrated by Jillie Bond through Isis. I was able to download it from audible though and not spend the fortune it would have cost to get it from Isis.

Tina, now a marine biologist living in America and married to a
n internist, is suddenly reminded of her past. She is diving in the sea with her husband and ten-year-old daugh
Brittany Solarz
Watch Me Disappear deals with some heavy topics - but that didn't stop me from being bored for pretty much the entire book. Usually, topics like these lure people in as they try to get into the minds of pedophiles and murderers - not to copy them, but to understand them.
This, however, was just slow, jumpy and had no real journey. The plot pyramid is a cliché, but it's a cliché because it works. I feel the author didn't even attempt to get this book to fit that mould and turned what could have b
P.D.R. Lindsay
An interesting read this novel. Tricky to follow in places as the MC, Tina, is an epileptic and possibly mildly autistic. She is not always easy to understand.

It is always said that we can never go back, but Tina goes back to her UK home to her brother's wedding. She did not have a happy childhood and her own daughter's behaviour triggers memories. When Tina was eleven her friend vanished; she had supressed this, but now bravely traces those memories and comes to a kind of peace for herself, but
Jill Dawson shows spectacular skills,the story though possibly entirely fiction, is hard to believe to have no direct involvement with the writer. Such a narration can only come from within,as Dawson has explored the main character's mind from a very personal perspective.
This is not the story of a missing girl, or a father who's most obvious traits were missed through out his life, or a set of siblings oblivious to the reality of their own surroundings, this infact is the unravelling of an exha
Kirsty Darbyshire

For a few pages at the beginning I ummed and ahhed over whether to put this down and put it on the "going straight back to the library" pile. After that I struggled to put it down at all. It was a completely captivating read.

The narrator is Tina, a girl from the Fens who ends up working at a prestigious American university. She's researching seahorses, which isn't really essential to the plot, but the detail adds a depth to the book. Coming home to England for her brother's wedding she digs into

In Watch Me Disappear, Tina Humber is a marine biologist who lives in the U.S. who must reencounter a childhood trauma when she returns to her native England. As a child her best friend disappeared one day leaving behind questions and no hope for closure. Returning to her hometown, Tina tries to piece together the few clues she remembers to figure out who abducted her friend decades ago.

Though this novel does have a detective feel, it doesn’t allow for the logic and closure generally afforded to
I had preconceived ideas about the content of this novel and the type of direction the story would take. I expected a journey into the past for the narrator, with some kind of resolution regarding the disappearance of her best friend when they were both ten.

As I read I realised that the novel was in fact concerned with more complex issues, such as how memories are formed, how far we can trust our memories and how can we be sure that what we remember is the sum of what actually happened.

The nar
Greta Vercruyce
The novel starts very slowly. A lot of descriptions of the lives of het characters now and in the past. It was not always clear to me what the connection between the stories nore the characters was.
The second part makes the connections between the stories and the characters. From the second part on I liked the novel a lot more.

Lucy Blunden
Took me a while to get into this one. I like Jill Dawson's affinity for characters, getting right into their heads and emotional lives but the foggy, cotton-wool perspective was really difficult to wade through.
Once the story really got underway, I began to engage much more.
It was left vague and somehow unfinished (which it had to be) as though we just stepped out of the narrator's mind, as if she had cut us off, the way she had chosen to be for most of her life.
Probably a really good exercise
Very good. I enjoyed the contrast between the British and American points of view on family secrets, coming-of-age, and other topics. I'm not sure the part about her seahorse research was as well integrated as it might've been with the rest of the narrative. But the whole thing was very readable and enjoyable.
I'm a huge fan of Jill Dawson and I have quite a liking too for novels based on child disappearance so I thought this would be a match made in heaven. And whilst it was wonderful and far superior to many other things I've read it didn't quite achieve the pinnacles of her previous books for me. Which lead me to think about why and I've come to the conclusion that perhaps I like Dawson best when she is writing about things that I don't have a pre-existing interest in. What I admire is the way she ...more
This book was interesting and all the imagery the author used was really accurate. At many points in the book you could imagine yourself there. I also really enjoyed her descriptions of growing up and becoming sexually aware and how that feels. That's a taboo for many authors who like to portray children as being totally sexually unaware.

However the story didn't go anywhere. There was no ending and no conclusion to the narrators suspicions which was really disappointing. I would have liked her m
So slow. Main character is as dull as dishwater. Plot had potential but just got dragged down by the pace (or lack thereof) of the story.
This is a book that should be better known. It was utterly engrossing - told in flashbacks by a woman now in late 30s/early 40s who is recalling the mysterious disappearance of a childhood friend. A family reunion sparks off further revelations as she realises that the person responsible for her friend's disappearance was closer to home than she had originally allowed herself to think. Creepily atmospheric; great on (troubled) family dynamics; Fenland setting evocative and brooding. Brought back ...more
Lost interest.... didn't finish it.
Zoe Ranson
interesting, but slightly uncomfortable story of a woman revisiting her childhood home and confronting her family and the childhood secrets she had tried so hard to distance herself from.
Immersed in the world of marine biology in America she has physically and emotionally separated her existence
John Self
Superb meditation on youthful sexuality and all the grey areas it throws up. Well up to the standard of Dawson's earlier books.

Full review (inc a comment from Dawson!!) here:
Iwas underwhelmed by this book. I thought Tina Humber slightly unhinged and I her reasons for this could have been gone into, in more depth. I did like the bits about seahorses. As for the rest of the book, I felt very disappointed.
I started reading this book, but got bored really quickly. Nothing really drew me in, and because I didn't really care about the character, I started to not really have a clue what was goingon.
Su Dryden
As always with Jill Dawson, this is a thorough immersion into another life. Like Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood, she shows girlhood without the rose-tint. An uneasy and fascinating read.
Fascinating and unnerving, wonderfully written. I really felt like the narrator was unstable, mentally and emotionally, just as her character was portrayed.
Fairly slow moving initially, but nonetheless a compelling, haunting and intelligent read.
Dec 29, 2011 Mariel rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Very hard to understand, plus, very boring. A visual book, and creepy one too.
Jul 29, 2011 Sara marked it as to-read
06 long list-orange prize
AALIYAH marked it as to-read
Sep 29, 2015
Elaine Bishop
Elaine Bishop marked it as to-read
Sep 21, 2015
Emma Whittle
Emma Whittle marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2015
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Jill Dawson was born in Durham and grew up in Staffordshire, Essex and Yorkshire. She read American Studies at the University of Nottingham, then took a series of short-term jobs in London before studying for an MA in Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. In 1997 she was the British Council Writing Fellow at Amherst College, Massachussets.

Her writing life began as a poet, her poems being publish
More about Jill Dawson...
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