Laura's Reviews > The Vanishing of Katharina Linden

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
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's review
Apr 17, 2010

it was amazing
Read in April, 2010

My life might have been so different if I had not been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded!"
This is the first line in the book and the minute you read it, you know that this book is going to touch in so many ways. I have read more books than I can count, but never have I read a first line in a book which has gripped my attention so quickly.
The story is told through the eyes of 11 year old Pia. This fact alone, is intriguing as I had expected it to be told through the eyes of an adult, as most mystery books tend to do. From the title, it is obvious that the theme behind the book is mystery of disappearance, but it is so much more.
Pia's parents marriage is not a happy one and is very close to the end. I especially like the way the author did not make out either parent to be bad but instead chose the route of "just not fitting together'. I also like how Pia's best friend is the most unpopular boy, as this gives Pia more credence.
There is an aching sadness to Pia, as you realize that she so touched by everything she encounters in her life. I wanted to reach out through the pages so many times just to hug her and make her feel safe. I think this is the most important part of the book, at least in my opinion. The characters is so richly defined that we soon view her as a real person who is far too young to have to face so much. This book is haunting as you can never quite get the character out of your mind, long after the last page has been read.
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Arlene Allen That first line got me, too!!

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