Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARNATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTOne August afternoon, two sisters–Sophia, eight, and Alyona, eleven–go missing from a beach on the far-flung Kamchatka Peninsula in northeastern Russia. Taking us through the year that follows, Disappearing Earth enters the lives of women and girls in this tightly knit community who are connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty–open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, dense forests, the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska–and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused. In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, Julia Phillips’s powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.