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The Temple House Vanishing

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  137 reviews
Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace...

In an elite Catholic girls' boarding-school the pupils live under the repressive, watchful gaze of the nuns. Seeking to break from the cloistered atmosphere two of the students - Louisa and Victoria - quickly become infatuated with their young, bohemian art teacher,
...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: February 20th 2020 by Corvus (first published February 6th 2020)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Paromjit
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fine debut from Rachel Donohoe, a dark, chillingly suspenseful mystery novel with gothic overtones, where raging teenage hormones, overheated emotions, and imaginations spill over in a all girls Roman Catholic boarding school. In a school run by nuns, there is the juxtaposition of opposites, the strictures and repression of religion with its damnation and morality, crossed with the rampant emotional intensity, desires and obsessions of young girls, particularly with the incendiary ...more
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace…

The Temple House Vanishing left me with a tiny scar in my soul after reading it. It is intriguing and mysterious, it is real and delusional. The next time when I mention a special mystery, with a cruel end – this will be the first book that pops in my mind.

Louisa and Victoria are two friends that study in a Catholic girls’
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Ceecee
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Temple House is a second rate girls boarding school that thinks it’s first rate or at least some of the incumbents do, especially the nuns that run it. In September 1990 Louisa, a very clever 16 year old girl, is offered a scholarship at Temple House which she accepts but she is looked down on particularly by the girls who are fee paying. In her art class she meets fellow student Victoria and her art teacher Mr Lavelle. Victoria mesmerises Louisa and it appears as if she is her only friend. They ...more
Susan
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This debut involves an elite, Catholic boarding school, and the mysterious disappearance of scholarship girl, Louisa and charismatic art teacher, Edward Lavelle.

I often find myself drawn to novels set in Catholic schools – probably because I went to a convent school myself. Here we have Louisa, whose parents are divorcing, and who has decided that she wants to reinvent herself at Temple House School, but finds that she does not really fit in. Of course, there is bullying among the girls and
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Roman Clodia
Remember those old Malory Towers (which gets a name-check) books? This seems to revisit the school while adding in sex, a handsome male teacher, nuns, and some The Secret History-style gothic atmosphere. It definitely has a YA vibe as new girl Louise falls foul of the dress code (indoor shoes, please, for the priceless parquet flooring!) and gets some serious telling off from posh head-girl Helen. But the atmosphere darkens with death, lusty triangles and the mysterious disappearance of teacher ...more
Louise Wilson
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Set in 1990.

At an elite Catholic girls boarding school, the girls live under the ever watchful nuns. Louisa and Victoria quickly become besotted with their art teacher. But then Louisa disappears at the same time as Mr. Lavette, the art teacher. Twenty five years later, a journalist is investigating this unsolved case.

This is an atmospheric tale from beginning to end. It's full of mystery and suspense. The story is narrated by Louisa and the journalists perspectives. It's full of twist and
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Ceecee
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Temple House is a second rate girls boarding school that thinks it’s first rate or at least some of the incumbents do, especially the nuns that run it. In September 1990 Louisa, a very clever 16 year old girl, is offered a scholarship at Temple House which she accepts but she is looked down on particularly by the girls who are fee paying. In her art class she meets fellow student Victoria and her art teacher Mr Lavelle. Victoria mesmerises Louisa and it appears as if she is her only friend. They ...more
Liz Barnsley
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Temple House Vanishing is a beautifully atmospheric and involving novel, written in a lyrical literary style with a mysteriously compelling story.

Louisa and her art teacher disappeared one night many years ago. In a case that engaged the nation, neither of them were ever found.

Through the voices of Louisa and a journalist writing a case study 25 years later, we learn about Temple House school, the cliques and the friendships, the social divide and the slow burn of an obsessive relationship.

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Alaina
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
A little bit Shirley Jackson, a little bit Virgin Suicides, a little bit Lovely Bones, a little bit Rebecca … I’m not sure; there was a lot that felt familiar about this one, but definitely not derivative. I really enjoyed it.
Some of the blurb for this one feels a bit misdirecting, but maybe that is better for the reader; it leaves room for twists and other reveals to be effective.
We meet Louisa as she starts at Temple House, a moody Catholic boarding school. She’s like many teenage girl
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Nigel
Oct 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
In brief - I was a little unsure about this one to start with however it's very well written and highly atmospheric to me.

In full
Temple House is a private Catholic school set on cliff tops in Ireland. Twenty five years ago a 16 year old girl and her arts teacher went missing and no trace of them was ever found. Nuns and prefects kept a very close eye on the girls - the atmosphere is repressive. Those who do not "fit in" are treated as outsiders. Enter Louisa, Victoria and Mr Lavelle - are they
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Jenny
Nov 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
This is a dark book - it has a very atmospheric and gothic feel about it. It is written primarily from two separate perspectives.

The first is that if Louisa, a teenager, struggling to fit in and find her identity. We see her start at a Temple House, a Catholic school and form a friendship with Victoria. The reader shares their friendship and inappropriate relationship with their teacher, Mr Lavelle.

The second perspective is a modern day journalist who is investigating the disappearance of
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Sheri
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The title and the cover attracted me, and I’m a sucker for stories set in schools, even if the basic plot - teenage girls, a charismatic male teacher - didn’t sound, on the face of it, all that original.

We open - shockingly - with the suicide of one character, before moving back in time to 1990 when Louisa, a clever sixteen year old, wins a scholarship place - as a weekly boarder - at Temple House, an elite convent boarding school. Set on a cliff top, it’s all “Victorian turreted austerity”.
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Sarah
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child, I adored Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers books and was desperate to go to boarding school. I imagined midnight feasts, friends that became as close as sisters, playing pranks on the teachers and receiving a first-class education. After reading The Temple House Vanishing I can only be grateful that I was neither from the sort of family that values this type of education nor was I the recipient of a scholarship due to my superior intellect.
The book is a richly atmospheric gothic story
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Tracy Wood
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
When Louisa and Victoria met at Temple House Catholic School in the mid 1990's they became firm friends almost immediately. Their favourite lesson was art with the young personable Mr Lavelle whose classes took place in a studio in the grounds, complete with sofas, throws and coffee on tap. In all other ways both girls are outcasts, one a first intake scholarship student who just doesn't belong the other a dreamer who has no wish to conform.

When a young journalist is given the chance to do an
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Nick
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot-line may have come straight from what could have been a trashy YA novel. However, the story telling was absolutely second to none and made it more than it originally seemed it was going to be.

16 & 41, one persons tale of a life that once was, and has become. A journalist writing a piece on a disappearance and tale of lust. The majority of the story focuses on a teacher, a want to be muse and a new girl at a catholic boarding school.

The teacher, grooming, the muse besotted and drawn
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Nicola Smith
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Temple House Vanishing is a beautifully constructed story of teenage obsession, jealousy and love. It centres around three people, Louisa and Victoria, both students at Temple House school, and their art teacher, Mr Lavelle.

The year is 1990 and Louisa has just arrived at Temple House as a scholarship student. The school is a strange one, set up in a house which was never converted into something more school like. Run by nuns, it's not exactly tyrannical but the religion is rammed down the
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Kat
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this brilliant debut novel from Rachel Donohue it was full of atmosphere and a story that I was so totally immersed in that I ploughed through the book at a rate of knots. It’s a story set in a boarding school run by nuns and full of full of mystery, teenage love, inappropriate behaviour with a whole lot more besides and I just couldn’t put the goddam book down!!
We know from the beginning that the teacher Edward Lavelle and his pupil Louisa disappeared 25 years ago but what exactly
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Rachel
Oct 26, 2019 rated it liked it
The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

3 STARS

Thank you to Atlantic Books for an e-ARC of this book.

The Temple House Vanishing is intriguing, haunting but ultimately somewhat disappointing.

The story promises to be an interesting one - a missing teacher and student from a secluded, privileged school. Donohue's writing is very atmospheric, creating a dark, claustrophobic and secretive setting for the novel.

The characters themselves are more difficult to grasp, akin to trying to hold water -
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Amanda
Compelling mystery.

Teenaged schoolgirl, Louisa, disappears with her charismatic teacher, Mr Lovelle, from Temple House, the catholic girls’ boarding school. They are never seen again. Twenty-five years on, a journalist attempts to unlock the mystery.

Donohoe writes with an understated style that captures the intensity of adolescent passion and jealousy, the darkness of the bullying, Hitleresque ‘Vestal Virgin’ prefects, and the desperation of the outsider wanting to belong in a world of
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Rachel Hall
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Claustrophobic and unsettling tale of a mysterious disappearance and the secrets within a Catholic girls’ boarding school.

Rachel Donohue’s assured debut is a hugely atmospheric story of teenage hormones, destructive obsessions and the consequences of jealousy set in a Catholic girls’ boarding school. Complete with gothic overtones and reminiscent of the intensity of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, The Temple House Vanishing follows a journalist determined to uncover the twenty-five year old
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Lottie
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Evening BookWyrms,

The Temple House Vanishing is a murder mystry and a psycological thriller. It is dark, poignant, painful and unnerving.

I was scrolling through NetGalley and just happened upon it. Here is the blurb that made me request it:

-------------------------------------------

Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace...

In an elite Catholic girls' boarding-school the pupils live under the repressive, watchful gaze of the
...more
Laura
Jan 29, 2020 rated it liked it
The Temple House Vanishing is billed as a novel set in an elite Catholic girls’ boarding school in Ireland in 1990, where creepy nuns rule the roost but attractive art teacher Mr Lavelle offers a possibility of escape. It’s surprising how little of this the novel actually delivers on. Louisa arrives at the school as a scholarship girl and forms an intensive friendship with Victoria; both are drawn into Mr Lavelle’s orbit and become somewhat set apart from the other girls. A second plot thread is ...more
Lavender
2,5 Stars

This is a haunting and atmospheric book about two girls who met at a boarding school. The become friends and also entangled with their unconventional art teacher. One day one of the girls, Louisa and the teacher disappeared. 25 years later a journalist is writing an article about the case and gets in contact with the other girl, Victoria.

I love stories about students, boarding school etc. So the book seems perfect for me. Unfortunately I had problems to find my way into the story right
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Ria
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sounded really good and it started off well, quite moody and creepy.
You know there is a love triangle going on with Mr. Lavelle, Louisa and Victoria it's rather explicitly hinted at all through but the reality is Victoria loves her teacher Lavelle and Louisa is in love with Victoria who can be very cruel and unfeeling.
It all ends in chaos when Lavelle and Louisa go missing after a blazing row with Victoria and many years later though many have tried and failed to solve the disappearances
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Leonie Byrne
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley, Rachel Donohue and Atlantic Books/Corvus for my arc of The Temple House Vanishing in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 25 years ago a 16 year old student and her charismatic male teacher disappeared without a trace. In the elite catholic boarding school the girls are ruled by religion and fear of sin, directed by the nuns who teach them. Louisa feels like an outsider until she meets Victoria and Mr Lavelle. Years later a journalist determines to unravel the mystery ...more
Vicky
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A slow burner that kept me interested throughout. The combination of boarding school, nuns, the teenage girl/young teacher relationship gave the text a creepy and salacious vibe that kept me guessing. What happened 25 years ago at the Temple House School? The dual narrative works well as the journalist attempts to solve the mystery of what happened and the reader gets the blow by blow account, albeit drip fed, by Louisa, one of the main players in the events. The ending was interesting; I didn't ...more
Miss R
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Atlantic Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A sublimely written novel of love, loss and longing combining the pathos of Donna Tartt with the atmospheric resonance of “Picnic at Hanging Rock”.

“The Temple House Vanishing” is one of the most beautifully written, sublimely constructed novels I have ever read. Rachel Donohue’s debut novel is quite simply a tour de force of the imagination. Oozing atmosphere, with characters that defy the combination of words
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Emma's Things to Read
This is a dark and atmospheric novel.

Temple House school is isolated and haunted. The life at the school follows strict rules from both the Catholic nuns and the prefects.

There's something du Maurier-esque about the setting - a dark and twisted, religious Malory Towers. Louisa is academically brilliant and feels out of place in her own family. A scholarship at Tenple House is a life-changing opportunity.

Louisa meets enigmatic student, Victoria, and bohemian art teacher Mr Lavelle and her
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Kate
I've read a number of books lately that have flitted between past and present, multiple narrators at times, and cover an outsider coming into a closed group. This was a well done exemplar of all of these narrative themes.

The story tackles that most closed of environments: a girls' boarding school. Often the target for stories about mischief in many a crime novel or TV episode, Donohue treads old ground, but lightly. It doesn't feel tropey, it doesn't feel like every other school that ever
...more
Nicola Weideling
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-five years ago, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl and her charismatic teacher disappeared without trace...

When Louisa arrives at Temple House, an elite catholic boarding school, she quickly finds herself drawn to sophisticated fellow pupil Victoria and their young bohemian art teacher, Mr Lavelle. The three of them form a bond that seems to offer an escape from the repressive regime of the nuns who run the cloistered school. Until Louisa and Mr Lavelle suddenly vanish. Years later, a
...more
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