Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Vanishing” as Want to Read:
The Vanishing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Vanishing

by
3.67  ·  Rating details ·  5,405 ratings  ·  879 reviews
Recently widowed and rendered penniless by her Ponzi-scheming husband, Julia Bishop is eager to start anew. So when a stranger appears on her doorstep with a job offer, she finds herself accepting the mysterious yet unique position: caretaker to his mother, Amaris Sinclair, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist whom Julia has always admired…and who the world beli ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published January 21st 2014 by Hyperion
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Vanishing, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Hunter Jay
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jennifer I agree, there was no follow up on that?! My assumption was that it was just either Gideon toying with her OR it really was ghost Jeremy (since she co…moreI agree, there was no follow up on that?! My assumption was that it was just either Gideon toying with her OR it really was ghost Jeremy (since she could hear/see ghosts) warning her about the dangers of being in the house. Although he was a sociopath and did he ever really care about her at all? Hmmm.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,405 ratings  ·  879 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Vanishing
karen
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
this is a good rainy-day ghostie story. it isn't going to scare you overmuch, or be too intellectually challenging, and there are going to be times when you scratch your head over some of the situations, and say to yourself "but why wouldn't…. and why would….?? and what about…?" but that would just be you not approaching this book with the right attitude, so shame on you.

this is an unwind in the bath with a mug of wine book (yes, a mug. slippery bath hands with delicate stemware is a recipe for
...more
Mary Beth
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
One of my favorite past times for the coldest darkest evenings of this time of year is curling up with a mug of hot chocolate, a heavy soft blanket and a spooky story that presents Dark mysteries.

After Julia Bishop's husband swindles millions from strangers and friends alike in a Ponzi-scheme and then kills himself, leaving her alone to face the consequences of his heinous. actions, Julia wants nothing more than to disappear and get a fresh start.
When Adrian Sinclair arrives on her doorstep
...more
Cherie
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
     Julia is recently widowed and penniless, and wants a fresh start. A rich stranger offers her a "too good to be true" job as a live in caregiver to his mother, the famous horror novelist, Amaris Sinclair.
      The Sinclair's are an eccentric family who live at an enormous and isolated estate. The mansion is haunted and holds secrets. Julia becomes suspicious there were other motives for bringing her here to this mansion, and she is not sure who she can trust.
      This is a gothic tale full
...more
Robin
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a true gothic ghost story and a nice homage to Daphne DuMaurier and Victoria Holt with a smidge of Stephen King. The setting of a haunted manor in northern Minnesota was well done and the characters were appealing, and I especially enjoyed the dogs.
C.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wendy Webb's 2014 novel is atmospheric, with aspects of exceptional creativity. Four stars account for a delay before mysteriousness gears up and a minor but persistent issue. The protagonist's "stomach churns" in every scene. If editors don't cover redundancy, I ought to put out a shingle! I have an eagle eye for logic, like Julia not having many dresses. If someone offered to move everything I wished, wouldn't I pack all belongings, especially clothes?

It is clear that Julia's memory falters fo
...more
Samantha
Oct 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: to-read-shelved
I received an advance copy of this novel via NetGalley and was so excited to dive in, only to be sorely disappointed. The quality of the writing and the lack of characterization made this one painful to struggle through. I hit the 30% mark and finally gave up. I was able to accept the premise — woman who is some how tied to mysterious gothic residence is invited back and unravels past truths, etc. but the grammar, oh my! The prose definitely does not flow. And let’s be real, the whole premise of ...more
Debra
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: favorite-books
Julia Graham is recently widowed and looking to start her life over. When she is approached by a stranger with an opportunity to act as a caretaker for his Mother, Amaris Sinclair. Julia is intrigued by the offer. His Mother, Amaris is a famous author who the world believes died ten years ago. She is alive and well and living in a beautiful estate.

When Julia arrives at the estate which has a lot of history, she hears children singing but there are no children in sight. She also quickly observes
...more
Jessica
Awful. I don't remember the last time I read a book so heavy with cliches. The protagonist, Julia, is by turns naive enough to accept the first explanation that occurs to her (which is usually dreadfully simple) and occasionally sensible enough to be weirded out by various supernatural phenomena taking place at the mansion in the middle of nowhere, where she has accepted an invitation to surrender her identity entirely and give herself to a family of utter strangers. Sometimes she understands th ...more
Heather
Aug 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this little gem. Spooky old house, ghosts, tea, and schedule.
Susan
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this entertaining read, author Wendy Webb links the modern with the gothic, and comes up with an atmospheric ghost story. When we meet our heroine, Julia Bishop, she is in hiding. Her husband had been found guilty of a fraud which swindled hundreds out of their life savings and then committed suicide. Ostracised, blamed and confused, she faces losing her house and possibly her liberty. Salvation arrives in the form of the debonair Mr Adrian Sinclair, who arrives on her doorstep with a proposa ...more
✨Susan✨
This was a Daily Deal but worth a credit. A young woman, Julia Bishop, finds herself desolate after her husband is uncovered as a blue collar thief and instead of jail he cowardly chooses suicide. Shortly after her loss, a man of wealth appears at her door, she of course is suspicious, however, is intrigued and allows him to complete his explanation and proposal. He makes an offer that would entail her moving away from her life and coming to live in a mansion, on the Canadian boarder, where she ...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
The age of spiritualism, a mansion and extensive grounds built by a Scottish Laird, seances attended by all the big names of the time including Charles Dickens and Conan Doyle, and a beautiful medium named Seraphin. Something goes wrong and something horrifying is released.

The future, House and grounds still intact, yet echoes from the past never die, as Julia who arrives fleeing her past, finds when she arrives as a caretaker to a famous, author thought to be dead.

Some of the conversations I t
...more
Jessica
Dec 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
What is required for you to love this book:

A) The ability to suspend all logic, reason and judgement regarding the character's decisions.
B) A love of the phrase "my dear" because it is used 7,458 times.
C) A desire to internally scream with frustration because no one in this book ever completes a conversation.
D) A desire to believe that anyone over the age of 7 would accept a conversation never being completed.
E) An unquestioning acceptance that a grown woman would accept so many placating commen
...more
Bonnie
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Julia Bishop is left alone and completely destitute when her husband commits suicide after it was discovered he had swindled out all their family and friends out of their life savings with a Ponzi scheme. She’s accused of being a co-conspirator in her husband’s shady dealings and is left friendless as well. Unexpectedly a man
...more
Mackey
It's been ages and a half since I read a really good ghost story but The Fate of Mercy Albin, also by Wendy Webb, was recommended to me and suddenly I remembered how much fun this type story could be.

In The Vanishing you have all of the hallmarks needed for the perfect gothic tale: a haunted Victorian mansion, a writer long thought dead, not one but two mysterious men and a woman who is in trouble and looking for a safe haven. Who ever runs to a haunted mansion looking for peace and safety? I do
...more
Beth The Vampire
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
*grumble grumble*

This book is going to be really hard to review.

Mostly because up until about page 270 (out of 290), it was a great book. The atmosphere of Havenswood was really captivating, and I felt that Julia was a real gothic heroine. There was a labyrinth type house, subtle ghosts and unease, and a dark mystery. The twist developed really well, even though the pace suffered a bit in the second act, and everything seemed to make sense as the story progressed.

So what went wrong? The ending.
...more
Karyn Niedert
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Karyn by: goodreads
Shelves: first-read
This was the first book I've won through the First Read Giveaways on goodreads, and I am so pleased that I truly enjoyed it.


“The Vanishing” tells the tale of Julia Bishop, a woman who is offered a wonderful escape from the nightmare her life has become since her husband bamboozled millions from their family and friends, then subsequently committed suicide to avoid punishment. Adrian Sinclair, the son of famous (long thought dead) horror author Amaris Sinclair, offers her the opportunity to be
...more
Janice
Jan 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
Wendy Webb has a fantasy. She sees an older version of herself, character Amaris Sinclair, in a castle in the woods with a young version of herself, Julia Bishop. Both ladies are horror writers, in need if a place away from the public eye. They both need to Vanish.

How does this book suck? Let me count the ways!

To start, the main character Julia is the quintessential helpless woman. Her dead husband has left her life in ruin and she is has retreated into her home away from the public eye in a de
...more
Cynthia
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed most of this story a lot. I liked the creepy gothic atmosphere and the constant state of confusion I was in as I tried to figure out what was happening in this novel. I was eager to reach the conclusion so my questions would be answered. Seeing the details unfold within the last few chapters, I felt mostly satisfied, although the end, prior to the epilogue, felt a little too rushed after so much buildup. Perhaps the author let it fall flat intentionally, as she had one more surprise fo ...more
Stephanie Sanders-Jacob
Spoiler-free summary:
Juila Bishop’s life has fallen apart: Her husband, a sociopath who committed fraud, has killed himself, her parents are dead, her friends have abandoned her, and she can’t shake the paparazzi who want a glimpse of what she’s become. It is in this dark period of her life that Adrian Sinclair, son of world-famous horror novelist Amaris Sinclair, approaches Julia with an interesting preposition - He can make her bleak, embarrassing past disappear. All she needs to do is follow
...more
Caitlin
Once again, Wendy Webb hit the nail on the head with my favorite kind of book! It was gothic, there was a creepy old house, family secrets, ghosts, and twists an turns ALL the way to the very last page.
I found myself confused for most of the book. For this type of book...that was a good thing! I had no idea who these people were, were they even all living? Why was Julia really brought there? What the heck was going on?!? I loved every moment of it.
At first I thought this was going to be just y
...more
Latasha
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I listened to the audiobook. the story was really intriguing but there were times when I was really aggravated with Julia but I didn't not like her. I liked all the characters and I liked the setting. the book kinda ended the way I thought it would? overall, I liked the book. it just had some minor annoyance.
Amanda
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm a sucker for books where, due to circumstances, the main character needs a fresh start. But when that fresh start comes at the hands of a complete stranger, one must ask themselves what's the catch?

The protagonist, Julia, is an unreliable narrator, as she's under the influence of medicine that sometimes makes her black out or lose her memory for periods of time. She ends up to a caretaker for former writer, Amaris Sinclair, the "female Edgar Allen Poe," and Julia's author muse.

Julia finds he
...more
Sarah Swann
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This was good. Definitely left me guessing and had a creepy feeling. Writing was good and the characters were great.
Ionia
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I struggled for a little while when trying to decide how to rate and review this novel. If you are a Gothic horror fan then this will likely please the part of you that craves old houses and things that go bump in the night. Still, I definitely think you have to be someone who can suspend your desire for reality to fully enjoy this book.

The main character begins the story by having lost everything, including her husband, her friends and is about to be arrested for something she didn't do and lo
...more
Melissa Joulwan
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Oh, man. I hate to be harsh, but this book was.... not good.

The premise is great, and if I wrote out the story in an outline form, it wouldn't be too bad. But the characters do not do things that real people do—and my assessment does take into account that this is a ghost story, so people might do weird things. Even given that, nope.

The story is a first-person account told by Julie, the heroine, and she has no defining characteristics at all. I can't tell you anything about what kind of person
...more
Rachel Bea
everything I want in a Gothic thriller. loved it. couldn't put it down
Kelly
Oct 21, 2016 rated it liked it
I really like books that embrace who they are. They are not trying to fool you into thinking they are something else. This is a book like that. The author even says in her acknowledgements she is not trying to change the world or write great literature, she just wants to produce books readers enjoy. Webb has accomplished that here and nothing more. This is a fun, fast paced, gothic thriller with a creepy old house and a stereo-typical cast of characters. None of this is a bad thing and it is a p ...more
Megan (The Book Babe)
The Vanishing Other reviews at The Book Babe's Reads.
 
"No, today the sky is too blue and bright for a tale as dark as that one."
 
Fun fact about me: if I read a book that scares me, I will run past the windows in my house. It's been like that ever since I was super young - if I watch a scary movie, I run past the windows. It goes both ways - and let me tell you, The Vanishing definitely incurred some window-running. Which in my mind, is always a good thing!
 
I picked this one up on a whim, and I'm
...more
Judy D Collins
The Vanishing by Wendy Webb is a compelling, contemporary supernatural thriller with a mixture of mystery, ghosts, psychological suspense and gothic elements.

Desperate, broke, alone and down on her luck, Julia Bishop finds herself at loss after her husband, Jeremy commits suicide after taking money and life savings in a Bernie Madoff Ponzi-scheme.

Three months later, Julia, novelist, has nowhere or no one to turn to for help. Out of nowhere a stranger shows up, Adrian Sinclair with a plan to o
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Reader's Nook...: October Book of the Month 2 20 Oct 03, 2014 07:44AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Widow's Walk
  • Silence for the Dead
  • The Other Side of Midnight
  • An Inquiry Into Love and Death
  • The Haunting of Maddy Clare
  • Lost Among the Living
  • The House on the Hill
  • The Widow's House
  • The Invited
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • The Haunting of Ashburn House
  • The Spiritualist
  • The Night Sister
  • Home Before Dark
  • The Folcroft Ghosts
  • The Broken Girls
  • The House Next Door
  • The Haunting of Blackwood House
See similar books…
1,318 followers
WENDY WEBB's novels are mysteries about long-buried family secrets, set in big, old haunted houses on the Great Lakes.

THE END OF TEMPERANCE DARE (2017, Lake Union) is set in a former tuberculosis sanatorium on Lake Superior, now a renowned retreat for artists and writers. When Eleanor Harper takes the helm as its new director and her first batch of visiting artists arrives, she begins to suspect t
...more

Related Articles

The must-read summer beach book is a kind of American tradition. The crash of the waves. The glare of the sun. The sand in the pages. Is...
66 likes · 37 comments
“The truth finds its way into the light, no matter what you’ve done to contain it.” 3 likes
“Over the course of one’s life, Julia, there are actions that pave the way for everything else that comes after, good or bad. Simple moments: Turning right instead of left on the street and running headlong into the man you’ll marry. Choosing a ham sandwich instead of soup at the deli and choking on it. Diving into a pool of water and cracking your head on the bottom, paralyzing yourself for life.” 0 likes
More quotes…