The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
From Germany myself, I was charmed and excited that the book was not only set there, but contained so many cultural references that were so familiar to me, and a part of my own childhood. Fortunately, ...more
My interest in this book was piqued when I saw it described as a "charming horror novel," and while that isn't totally accurate, charming it is, horror it isn't, I very much enjoyed the book. Helen Grant has such an ease about her writing that I find it hard to believe this is her first novel. Her descriptions of Bad Münstereifel and its inhabitants are key to the book and provided most of the atmosphere; I could quite easily v ...more
When Katharina Linden goes missing at Karneval - jus ...more
This is a great coming-of-age story about a young German girl (well, half-German, half-British) who lives in a town going through a bit of a crime spree. Which is to say, several missing children. Little girls, snatched up from underneath everybody's watchful eyes. Thi ...more
A friend of mine asked why I liked it so much. It is actually hard to pinpoint, apart from the fabulous quality ...more
This mystery is told from the perspective of Pia, a 10-year old who lives in a small German town with her German father and English mother in the late 1990s. Children, specifically Katharina Linden, seem to go missing with no explanation. Suspicion falls on a creepy old guy but no one can prove anything.
Pia is ostracized because of her “explodin ...more
The mystery begins with the disappearance of a young girl, Katherina, and then the story loses steam. It's almost as if too much is going on, and none of it terribly significant.
That said, my u ...more
Which is why, I’m pleasantly surprised that I loved this book so much. Helen Grant really brought forth an amazing debut and I can’t wait to read more from her. If she continues writing excellent novels like this, then I agree with my fellow reader who says she is one to watch.
But enough about her, what about her b ...more
A few dislikes:
1. Even as a teenager recalling what happened 7 years ago, Pia did not ring true to me as a 10/11 year old. My immediate circle includes several children in that age bracket and Pia is just n ...more
And what was with that one section where Pia and these other two kids in England (Charles and Chloe I think) had t ...more
- Opening Line in The Vanishing of Katharina Linden
The first sentence in the book is the best part - much of the following story is rather dull.
I first put this book on my to-read list back in 2010. I bought a copy in 2011. I first attemepted to read the book in 2012 and finally successfully completed the book with the assistance of an audiobook in 2016.
'My life might have been so different had I not been known as the girl whose grandmother exploded.'
Pia, now a young adult, recounts the events that unfolded during a period in her childhood when female children started disappearing from her hometown in Germany. Running alongside the story of the vanishing girls is a turbulent year or so in Pia's childhood, dealing with the fallout from her grandmother's death, adjusting to big school, and not to mention her warring parents. I l ...more
There were some wonderful ideas here; the reason I wanted to read it was because of the story's connection to German folk tales, and I liked the fact that many of the stories invoked were unfamiliar to me. There were also several very memorable scenes and images -- not the least of which is announced in the highly compelling first sentence: "My life might have been so different, had I not ...more
While Pia and Stink Stefan, the protagonists of this mystery, are a plucky tween investigator and her trusty sidekick/schoolmate, it is by no means a YA book. As a matter of fact, despite its breezy, and often humorous, style, the story has some seriou ...more
After her grandmother died in an unusual way, Pia Kolvenbach is always being talked about and stared at, she was the centre of attention in the city of Bad Münstereifel. The only person who is willing to be her friend is StinkStefan, the most unpopular child in the school.
Very soon after that tragic event, another huge event takes place; Katharina Linden disappears at a carnival. She was last seen at a fountain in a Snow White costume. No one s ...more
I mean, if you go through an episode within the opening pages about a grandma who accidentally blows herself up at the Advent celebration...you have a good book on your hands! (I am DYING to tell you how it happens because the darkly humorous part of me finds it so absurdly funny--it's more of a "You have GOT to be kidding me with this!!" kind of reaction than anything--but I'm not going to spoil it so that you can experience it all on your own)
Anyway, it's not enough that now Pi ...more
Pia's cross to bear is the unceasing teasing she receives since her grandmother's accident involving massive amounts of hair spray and an open flame. This deadly combination does, indeed, result in her grandmother's death. Pia is amazed at the mirth and laughter her traumatic exper ...more
Despite the title of the novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden is largely the story ...more
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, ...more
Helen Grant (born 1964 in London) is an English author of novels for young adults, now based in Scotland. She was educated at Dr Challoner's High School and went on to read classics at St Hugh's College, Oxford. Her first novel, The Vanishing of Katharina Linden, was published by Penguin Books in April 2009. It was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the CILIP Carnegie Medal. It has...more