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How Quickly She Disappears

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,433 ratings  ·  407 reviews
The Dry meets Silence of the Lambs in this intoxicating tale of literary suspense set in the relentless Alaskan landscape about madness and obsession, loneliness and grief, and the ferocious bonds of family …

It’s 1941 in small-town Alaska and Elisabeth Pfautz is alone. She’s living far from home, struggling through an unhappy marriage, and she spends her days tutoring her
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Berkley (first published January 2020)
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Miranda Reads

So excited about this Booktube video - all about the Top 10 Books of 2020 (so far).
description To the month, twenty years had passed since her sister disappeared. Twenty years a missing child. A stolen child.
It's 1941 and Elisabeth Pfautz and her daughter, Margaret, are alone in their house, surrounded by the Alaskan wilds when a stranger comes a-calling.

Technically, since their house is connected to the school (and their town has no inn), the Pfautz family is expected to house those who need shelter.
How Quickly She Disappears grabbed me at first. I felt the remote, lonely, mosquito infested, muddiness of the tiny Alaskan town during WWII.  Elisabeth, her husband, and her just turning twelve year old daughter are there because her husband's job is teaching the Indian children. Else homeschools their precocious daughter and feels a part of the tiny town even though she and her family are the only white people living there. Twenty years earlier, Else's twin sister disappeared when they were el ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

The synopsis of this book sounded so promising as did the title. I was intrigued just by the title alone. Reading the book blurb, I was convinced this was the book for me. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

In 1941 Alaska, Elizabeth is living in an unhappy marriage and is homeschooling her daughter even though her husband is a teacher at the local school. Elizabeth lost her twin sister twenty years ago and she has never recovered. When a mysterious man, Alfred Seidel,
Chelsea Humphrey
May 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm struggling to put in words my thoughts of How Quickly She Disappears. On the one hand, it is original and atmospheric in a way that most authors can only dream of achieving, and while I feel neutral regarding the pacing of the novel, I did wrestle with the ending. It's really difficult going into a book, thinking it's a stand alone novel, and upon conclusion finding that there will most likely be a sequel or series of some sort. Comparing any story to the likes of The Silence of the Lambs an ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

I really don’t like when a novel is compared to another. The comparison to “The Dry” which I really enjoyed is puzzling to me, I don’t see the comparison. This was a 2 and ½ which I'm rounding down to a 2. The two are for the Alaskan atmosphere and what originally sounded like a good premise.

This novel was one of those books that you end up asking yourself “what exactly was the plot of this novel? I would say it was the disappearance of Elizabeth’s sister, but then the entire
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Elisabeth is living in a small Alaskan town with her husband and daughter. She carries with her the burden of not knowing what happened to her twin sister who mysteriously vanished some twenty years earlier.

A stranger suddenly appears in town only to find himself behind bars for murder. While in custody he reveals the claim of knowing what happened to Elisabeth’s sister. And the only person he will share that information with is Elisabeth herself! Of course, it will come with a price!

I’ve read
Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
”It was. How she felt about her sister was very different from how she felt about her mother or her father or, for that matter, how she felt about Mack. These people were gone, utterly wiped off the face of the earth, but her sister--her sister stared back at her every time she looked into the mirror. It wasn’t just that she believed Jacqueline was still alive. And it wasn’t just that she believed they would one day be together again. It was something deeper. It was because they were sisters, an ...more
Susanne  Strong
3 Stars

Chilling and Ominous!

Unhappily married, living in Alaska, Elisabeth feels more isolated than she could ever imagine. Having lost her twin sister Jacqueline in the 1920’s, she struggles with feelings she can’t begin to describe. In truth, Jacqueline’s disappearance is something Elisabeth has never gotten over.

Enter Alfred Seidel. A substitute pilot, weary from his deliveries, is in need of a refuge for the night, which Elisabeth willingly provides. She is immediately taken with him and t
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Oh my my!!! I thought this one had a great premise to it and it started off intriguing for me. I was liking the harrowing and haunting feel to the story and Alfred was a creepy character, However, things started to go sideways for me after the halfway mark and things started to go more to the creepy bad than creepy good. I didn't find Alfred's mind games here all that interesting or tense.

The biggest thing this story has going for it is the atmospheric feel to it here with the setting however i
Katie B
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Impressive debut novel by the author. While I certainly was interested in the mystery of the young girl's disappearance I was equally invested in her sister and her quest to find answers. It was a haunting and chilling story and the Alaskan setting was a perfect backdrop.

Back in the 1920s, Elisabeth's twin sister, Jacqueline, disappeared without a trace. Fast forward twenty years later, and Elisabeth is living in Alaska with her husband and young daughter, Margaret. They live in a such a sparsel
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes Elizabeth felt "...completely alone, the last person on a desolate earth." Even after twenty years, Elizabeth aka Else still "felt in her bones" that her identical twin sister Jacqueline was alive. Jacqueline had disappeared from their hometown of Lititz, Pennsylvania in 1921. Else constantly dreamed of Jacqueline. "Come and get me, her sister seemed to say. Just keep running."

In 1941, Elizabeth and John Pfautz lived in Tanacross, Alaska with young daughter, Margaret. Tanacross, popul
Diana | Book of Secrets
4.5 Stars → This was my final selection from Penguin's First to Read program. Unfortunately it is shutting down this month! I've greatly enjoyed being a part of the program for the past few years. I've found many favorites through them, including this book, HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS.

A historical suspense novel set in Alaska in the 1940s was too tempting to pass up, and I got pulled into the story right away. A tiny, isolated town in the Alaskan Interior was the perfect setting for this eerie st
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars!

Another thriller set in Alaska?I am alllll in! Add in that it’s historical, and I’m over-the-moon!

In 1941, Elisabeth is in an unhappy marriage, and she’s living an isolated existence. Her days are spent tutoring her daughter. Elisabeth is haunted by her sister’s disappearance twenty years ago. She is lonely, and she yearns to be reunited with her lost sister.

When a bush pilot, Alfred, arrives in town and almost immediately murders a resident, he refuses to speak to anyone except Elisab
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Let me start by saying that I absolutely adored the Alaskan setting of this debut thriller from Raymond Fleischmann. A small isolated town in the midst of wild and harsh nature... Couldn't find a better place for Elizabeth Pfautz lost her twin sister Jacqueline twenty years ago, but time hasn't healed the wound. Elizabeth's predominant feeling is desperate loneliness, despite being married to a local teacher and having a smart daughter who Elizabeth homeschools. A mysterious stranger appears in ...more
Amy Imogene Reads

Gorgeous writing, extremely suspenseful. The Alaskan wilderness and one woman's drive to find answers gives this narrative its propulsive drive.

Concept: ★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★
Villain(s)/Reveal(s): ★★★ 1/2

It's 1941. Elisabeth Pfautz is living at home in Tanacross, a barely-there outpost of rural Alaska with her husband, John, and their young daughter, Margaret. They've been in Alaska for a while now, following John's teaching posts wherever they lead, and Elisabeth is just along for the
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Living in rural Alaska, Elisabeth is lonely. Soul crushing lonely. A plane comes once a week to deliver supplies and mail,but other than that human contact outside her family is infrequent. Then a stranger arrives....he's a substitute pilot for the supply plane. Alfred Seidel says he has a secret....but he will only tell her if she agrees to three demands. The secret? He knows about the disappearance of Elisabeth's twin sister 20 years before. Elisabeth has been haunted by thoughts of her sister ...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Berkley for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

Not-quite-DNF at 100%?

Let me explain because you're probably thinking How can you DNF a book at 100%
To which I would guiltily respond, I skimmed...
Yes, dear reader, I skimmed.

How Quickly She Disappears is an unsettling an atmospheric thriller that, in spite of its creativity, struggled to hold my attention. It's partly the fact that this is more of a slow burn thriller but it's mostly just the fact that I am currently i
"We come here because we feel alone, and in our weakness we want to surrender ourselves to that loneliness. We want to be lost, and what easier place to be lost than Alaska?"

I didn't have to go to Alaska to be lost. I was lost within the pages of this book. And not in a good way.

Let me explain. I love all things Alaska. I lived in Palmer for a short period. So whenever I hear that the setting is in Alaska.....well, I'm in. Until I'm not.

How Quickly She Disappears starts off with quite the intrig
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Penguin’s First to Read program is shutting down and HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS by Raymond Flemischmann seemed like the most interesting, though I could have chosen all of the books for all the points I accumulated. I wouldn’t have chosen HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS if I had read closer to see this was historical fiction. I especially wouldn’t have chosen this novel if I knew the ending was incomplete and a set up for a sequel.

HOW QUICKLY SHE DISAPPEARS may be a case of it’s not you, it’s me, bec
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
Cunningly manipulative!

This novel had an eery undertone once it took off. Firstly, it takes place in a tiny remote Alaskan village that relies on plane deliveries for precious supplies not readily available. Secondly, this happens during the time in 1941, before the US military had any presence in the area and most of the inhabitants there were descendants of early tribes, speaking the native tongue. For any family to move there to integrate and teach at the schoolhouse would be a challenging en
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Elisabeth Pfautz is isolated in a small town in Alaska in 1941.  She spends her days teaching her young daughter at home and tiptoes around her husband John who is often gone.
At night, she's haunted by dreams of her twin sister, Jacqueline, who disappeared twenty years ago.  Struggling with loneliness and an unhappy marriage, Elisabeth holds on to the belief that her sister is still alive and she'll find her some day.

There is a routine to life in a small town and it is upended when a German pilo
Julie (JuJu)
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I have to admit, this book was chosen purely by the beautiful cover. I love being surprised when I read a book. Sometimes it works out...and sometimes it doesn’t...but it’s exciting to start a book with no expectations!

The setting for this one was fabulous. Alaska in 1941 didn’t sound like anyplace I’d like to live, but it was interesting to read about! And the small bits about the native Athabaskans was fascinating. Unfortunately, not much more of the book really excited me.

I did love how young
I won't go into major detail on why this book didn't work for me, but it just didn't keep me engaged for that long. It's very original and definitely has Silence of the Lambs type of vibes, but it just didn't capture my attention as much as I hoped it would be. However, kudos to the author for originality. ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Elisabeth Pfautz lives in a small Alaskan town with her husband and daughter. While her husband is away on business, a stranger, Alfred Seidel, arrives in town and needs somewhere to stay. The Pfautz home is the place where locals direct someone in need of a room for a night or two, and Elisabeth reluctantly agrees that the man can stay there. Shortly after his arrival, he kills a local man. While in jail, Alfred wants to speak with Elisabeth, and only Elisabeth. To convince her to help him, he ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Living in Alaska was isolation enough, but having a total stranger show up one day and tell you that he knows where your sister who disappeared twenty years ago is was unreal.

Elisabeth and her sister Jacqueline tell their tale in alternating chapters of when they were children together and then today where Elisabeth tells her tale of being alone and without her sister even though she has a husband and daughter. She never got over losing her sister.

Looking for her sister for twenty years was an o
Set in the early 1940s in a sparsely populated area of Alaska, How Quickly She Disappears is an atmospheric, suspenseful tale that is dark, gritty and psychologically taut.

Twenty years ago, Elizabeth’s sister disappeared. It changed Elizabeth’s life irreparably. Not a day passes when she doesn’t think about Jacqueline and wonder if she is still alive and, if so, where she might be. Living in a remote area of Alaska, Elizabeth struggles with her loveless marriage and extremely brilliant daughter
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
I received a free e-ARC through First to Read from the publishers at Penguin Random House. Trigger warnings: death, pedophilia, rape, kidnapping, body horror, amputation, violence, assault, blood, guns, hospitals.

In 1941, Elisabeth lives in a small town in Alaska with her husband and daughter. Their lives are simple, her husband running the local school while she tutors Margaret. Many years ago, Elisabeth's twin sister, Jacqueline, was abducted by a man she thought was her friend. Though she was
The Nerd Daily
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Marla Warren

Opening with the solitary buzz of an airplane as it flies into a remote Alaskan outpost and closing with tension that grows from heart-pounding to heart-stopping, Raymond Fleischmann‘s debut novel, How Quickly She Disappears is a deeply engrossing tale of obsession and isolation.

In 1941, Elisabeth lives in tiny Tanacross, Alaska with her husband, who works as a teacher for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and their bright, precocious da
I found this novel fairly enjoyable overall, so three stars for that. But I have to say, something was just lacking for me despite the plot itself, which sounds like it should have all the makings of a great thriller: our main character, Elisabeth, interacts throughout the book with a mysterious, creepy stranger in an effort to find her sister who went missing as a child. From there, the plot thickens as it’s said, and the drama is ratcheted up.

Yet despite the potential that existed in this thr
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

The Dry meets The Silence of the Lambs in this intoxicating tale of literary suspense, set in the relentless Alaskan landscape, about madness and obsession, loneliness and grief, and the ferocious bonds of family...

My proposition is very simple:
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Raymond Fleischmann’s debut novel, How Quickly She Disappears, is available now from Penguin Random House (Berkley Books). Fleischmann has published short fiction in The Iowa Review, Cimarron Review, The Pinch, and Los Angeles Review, among many others. He earned his MFA from Ohio State University and has received fellowships and scholarships from Richard Hugo House, the Sewanee Writers’ Conferenc ...more

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“I know some people are afraid of flying, but they’re misguided. They think the sky is full of peril and danger, but they’re wrong. It’s the earth you’ve got to worry about. The hard, unforgiving earth.” 1 likes
“January and February weren’t so much months as bouts of soporific depression. In the summer, Elisabeth would go to sleep with the expectation of waking too soon. In the winter, she would sleep with the expectation of never waking at all.” 0 likes
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