This ARC has been on my Kindle for a couple of months already. After requesting it on a whim, based on the most gorgeous cover and interesting blurb, I was a little wary to actually read it. I couldn’t be more wrong!
In this brilliant debut novel, Katy Yocom brings us closer to the fatal reality of the extinction of Bengal tigers, layering her novel with intricate family relationships, and emotionally-gripping journey of two sisters, Sarah and Quinn.
«Three Ways to Disappear» is by far one of the best Literary Fiction books of this year! With such a powerful first novel, Katy Yocom instantly became my new favorite author, and I can’t wait to see what else she will come up with in the future.
Leaving behind a nomadic and dangerous career as a journalist, Sarah DeVaughan returns to India, the country of her childhood and a place of unspeakable family tragedy, to help preserve the endangered Bengal tigers. Meanwhile, at home in Kentucky, her sister, Quinn–also deeply scarred by the past and herself a keeper of secrets–tries to support her sister, even as she fears that India will be Sarah’s undoing.
As Sarah faces challenges in her new job–made complicated by complex local politics and a forbidden love–Quinn copes with their mother’s refusal to talk about the past, her son’s life-threatening illness, and her own increasingly troubled marriage. When Sarah asks Quinn to join her in India, Quinn realizes that the only way to overcome the past is to return to it, and it is in this place of stunning natural beauty and hidden danger that the sisters can finally understand the ways in which their family has disappeared–from their shared history, from one another–and recognize that they may need to risk everything to find themselves again.
Thank you NetGalley and Ashland Creek Press for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
There are books that just tell a story. And then there are others that make you live that story together with the characters. «Three Ways to Disappear» is a perfect example of the novel that grips the reader from the first pages with its seamless writing, real characters, and eye-opening experience.
Two sisters – Sarah, the adventurous journalist, who has traveled all around the world to cover the biggest news and events, and Quinn, the ever-worried mother of twins, who has spent most of her life in the States. Both of them vividly remember the death of their brother Marcus, Sarah’s twin, who was one of the numerous victims of cholera in India.
After his death, their mother took the girls and moved back to the States, leaving her husband and the father of her children in India, wishing to never have moved there in the first place.
The girls grew up, but the memories from their childhood remained deeply enrooted in them, driving Sarah to return to India in search of a different life. She leaves her journalism career and seeks to help protect the endangered Bengal tigers at the Ranthambore National Park.
1 – Winner of Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature, «Three Ways to Disappear» is a magnificent representation of the difficult survival of Bengal tigers. As I was reading this book, I felt present at every sighting of the tigers. I worried about their well-being, for their complicated relationship with the villagers around the Ranthambore National park, and I felt outraged for the crimes committed against these marvelous creatures.
Katy Yocom did an amazing job transmitting the raw emotions to the reader, rallying them to act, to take some steps that will ultimately make a difference in our society. As I finished reading this book, I felt the need to learn more about the tigers of Ranthambore, about the ways to make an impact in their survival. And I hope that there will be many readers that will follow this rallying cry.
2 – Just over 300 pages, this books managed to break my heart, to make me hope and to increase my heart rate with worry for the main characters. It has been a very long time since I felt so invested in the story and in the fate of the characters. I loved Sarah and her courageous spirit. I loved Quinn and her desperate need to protect. Their lives weren’t perfect, they made mistakes, they struggled, and for those 4-5 hours that it took for me to read the book, they were the real people whose story I followed very closely.
3 – The little secrets that Katy Yocom hidden in the plot, made for the great incentive to keep reading this book even faster. What actually happened on that fateful day? Whose fault was it and does it really matter? Besides the tigers’ survival, another big focal point in «Three Ways to Disappear» is how differently the characters deal with the loss of their son and brother.