Sarah's Reviews > Disappearing Earth

Disappearing Earth by Julia  Phillips
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
3482226
's review

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, netgalley, mystery-thriller

3.5 rounded down

Disappearing Earth opens with two young sisters going missing in Kamchatka, a remote community in Siberia. From here on each chapter tells the story of a subsequent month after their disappearance but from the point of view of women in the community who have been impacted by the mystery.

While at it's heart this is a mystery their disappearance and the police work takes somewhat of a backseat for a lot of the novel. The chapters read almost like interconnected short stories which instead examine the issues other women in Kamchatka faces in their daily lives - dysfunctional relationships, family conflict, the widespread racism in the area against the "natives" - although the fear brought on by the crime features pretty heavily too.

The writing is strong and Phillips develops some great characters, however I found the characters I liked most ended up with shorter chapters and we spent more time with characters I cared less about. This is probably just me, but I feel like we could have lost one or two of the later subplots as I failed to see what they added to the story.

I can't be the only one who rates books in my mind as I'm going along, and this one started so strongly - a solid 4.5 - and then after the midway point slipped to something like a 2.5... so I'm settling on 3.5 rounded down as my final rating, because overall it was a pretty good debut.

Thank you Netgalley and Simon and Schuster UK for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.
20 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Disappearing Earth.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

December 31, 2018 – Shelved
December 31, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 31, 2019 – Started Reading
May 31, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
May 31, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
May 31, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery-thriller
June 1, 2019 –
51.0%
June 1, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Ehlers I read a New Yorker review that made me ambivalent about reading this, and your review makes me think it's not for me. Starting out with a mystery and then having a bunch of chapters from different points of view that don't really move the mystery plot along sounds like... the very definition of not my kind of thing.


Sarah Julie wrote: "I read a New Yorker review that made me ambivalent about reading this, and your review makes me think it's not for me. Starting out with a mystery and then having a bunch of chapters from different..."

Haha, well I'm glad my review helped you decide :) I did find this a bit frustrating towards the end but 3 stars seemed harsh given how much I liked the first half. I'll have to track down that New Yorker review!


back to top