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The days are getting longer, as we’re getting into the summer season, allowing me more time to read and this book is one I absolutely devoured. I had just read a brief description of this book and I was immediately intrigued by the story, so as soon as I had the opportunity to read it in advance of its publication date, I took it and am so glad I did.

The Act of Disappearing is about a girl named Julia, a struggling bartender and also a writer. She was approached by a man with a proposal to research and write the story behind a never-before-seen photograph. She goes on a quest to find answers and the story unfolds piece by piece.

‘The Act Of Disappearing’ Story Timeline

The story is written so beautifully as a dual timeline in present-day Brooklyn and 1940s-60’s rural Kentucky. I love the way the author writes differently in both of the timelines, so not only are you told, by chapter, that it’s taking place in another era, but it reads that way too. I was gripped by this story from the very beginning and every night as I read before bed, I found I was telling myself “just one more chapter” because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and put more of the puzzle together. Both the present day and the past told interesting, emotional stories of mental health, womanhood, infertility, family secrets and relationships and the mystery that unfolded with a twist at the end was just right.

It’s not very often I give a book a full 5 stars, but this one is definitely deserving. This is Nathan Gower’s debut novel and I already can’t wait for the next.

  • Nathan Gower’s 'The Act of Disappearing'

    Julia White is struggling: her bartending job isn’t cutting it and her first book has sold hardly any copies. She’s broke, barely able to make ends meet while drowning in her late mother’s medical bills and reeling after a one-night stand with her ex-boyfriend, who’s now completely ghosted her. Enter Johnathan Aster, a world-renowned photographer, with a proposal: he has a never-before-seen photograph of a woman falling from a train bridge, clutching what appears to be a baby. And he wants Julia to research the story. Alternating between present-day Brooklyn and Kentucky as it enters the 1960s, the story unfolds as Julia races to find answers: Who was the woman in the photograph? Why was she on the bridge? And what happened to the baby? Each detail is more propulsive than the last as Julia unravels the mystery surrounding the Fairchilds of Gray Station and discovers a story more staggering than anything she could have imagined.

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