Our group had some wonderful conversation last night at the Inn about Kate Moretti’s The Vanishing Year. Our rating of this book was 3.5 Magnifying Glasses.
Most of us agreed that we enjoyed this book a little more than the book we read last month (Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris), which was also a psychological thriller. Moretti offered more of the classic elements of a mystery novel in The Vanishing Year, offering clues to try to decipher along the way–sometimes buried and at other times in plain sight.
One of the things that I was particularly fond of in Moretti’s writing style was her ability to create deep, intricate, mulit-dimensional characters. There was no one character in the book who was flat, or just all good or all evil (except for maybe Henry who was a very sick, psychopathic sociopath). I appreciated this about the book and found the characters easier to identify with and make connections with–not despite their flaws but because of their flaws. It made them feel more human in a sense.
The other thing that our group enjoyed about the book was the ending. You get a real sense of closure as Zoe finally puts her mother to rest with a proper burial (spreading of her ashes) and comes to a self-realization that allows her to bring all of her identities to together and in a way that will enable her to continue to grow and evolve as a person. You can imagine a future for Zoe, and you get the feeling that she will move on and be okay.
One thing we all could agree on after our rendezvous with both Jack Angel and Henry Whitaker is that we could use a little break from psychotic husbands with control issues. We are moving on to a more classic crime mystery for next month and reading Louise Penny’s A Great Reckoning.
This book is the newest installment (12th in the series) of the Armand Gamache books. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the other books in this mystery series (I haven’t, either). All of Penny’s Armand Gamache books are written in a manner that they could be stand-alone books even though they are part of a series. So, you can read one, you can read them all, and you can read them in any order you’d like. We will be discussing this book at our next meeting on May 4th. Stop into the library to check-out a copy of the book and join us for food, great company, and great conversation!