Watch Me Disappear

Watch Me Disappear

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"Billie is a beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past -- a teenage runaway from Northern California who took up with a group of environmental activists wanted by the FBI, lived dangerously, but when she meets Jonathan, a tech magazine editor and all around good guy, she settles easily into the life of an eco-conscious, stay-at-home suburban yoga mom. Their daughter Olive, under her mother's watchful gaze, becomes a lovely, introverted, slightly eccentric girl. As she reaches adolescence and needs Billie's full-time attention less, Billie throws herself into extreme sports -- marathons, scuba diving, rock climbs, solo hikes. On one of these expeditions, Billie vanishes from the trail -- only a hiking boot is found. The family is devastated -- a year of intense mourning passes in which they await the closure that a body and a death certificate will bring. Jonathan drinks; Olive grows remote. But then she starts having waking dreams -- hallucinations? -- in which her very vibrant mother urges the girl to look for her, and Olive begins to believe her mother is still alive and in trouble. Jonathan believes the trauma and anxiety of losing her mother is making Olive ill, until he uncovers a secret that compels him to consider that Billie may not be dead after all and sends him on his own quest for the truth -- about Billie, their marriage, and the things people do in the name of love."--
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780812989465
Branch Call Number: FIC BROWN, JANELLE
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Feb 12, 2020

A wife and mother disappears while hiking in the mountains. Her phone and one of her boots are found, but is she really dead..... As secrets and lies come to light, the questions increase. Recommend the book for the resolution. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Nov 28, 2019

Loved this book. Could not put it down. It explores a grieving family’s experience while also exploring an intriguing mystery. What happens when the person you thought was dead might actually be alive? With this plot and the romantic subplots it makes for a really good read.

Sep 18, 2019

recommended by Ellen

Jul 16, 2019

Loved this book. She was not quite the conventional soccer mom that she appeared to be. Did her husband really know her, or just believe what he wanted to about her? Is the daughter experiencing psychic visions, or just stressed to the point of psychosis? All these haunting questions, and more, will be answered by the last page of this great read!

Jun 03, 2019

Really engrossing, enjoyable read. I liked the character development. I will check out this Author's other books, as this one was the first of hers I chose. The author's writing flows well. Recommend this one to my fellow readers out there.

Mar 31, 2019

4 1/2 stars. This is the first of Brown's books I've read but I enjoyed this read so much, I plan to read any other books she's written. Billie Flanagan disappeared on a solo hike to the Desolation Wilderness a year ago. Her husband Jonathon is writing a memoir of their life together and drinking too much. Her daughter Olive, a teenager, is floundering. But Olive starts having visions of her mother and starts to believe that she is still alive. Jonathon starts looking into Billie's past and discovers some truths about Billie that he wished he never knew. Father and daughter are grieving in their own way and at times the distance between them grows. Is Olive really having visions or is there something wrong with her? And Jonathon finds himself questioning whether he ever really knew his wife. A heartfelt and interesting read with a few twists and turns. A really good read.

Dec 19, 2018

Just when I was getting tired of reading about the husband's grief about his wife's death/disappearance - even after a year - the author changes gears and starts to provide a different picture gradually of the loving wife and mother. I liked the visions the daughter has of her mother actually still being alive and her attempts to find those places in her visions in case there will be clues of her mother's presence there. The author keeps her reader's guessing to the last word in the novel as to what happened to the wife. The author has a style of writing that suits those who like minute descriptions of setting, character's actions and feelings, and interpersonal relationships. It was rather hard to believe though that a publishing company would want to publish a book like that memoir the husband wants to write of his wife - a nobody really. Yet interestingly enough, that memoir is the basis for the author's book. I might look for some of the author's other books as this one was the first one I have read that she has written. This title was advertised on my link with Kobo so I thought I would give this book a try, borrowing it from the library though to see if I liked the author's writing style.

agenesis Oct 11, 2018

Loved this book. Was shouting, "WHAT?!" in delight on the very last page. Will look for more of this author's work for sure.

Feb 18, 2018

Slow stare, almost gave up but glad I continued. Very good book but, a little surprised with the ending.

ehbooklover Feb 07, 2018

This one is a twisty slow burn and I couldn't stop reading it. I really liked how the story was told via alternating points of view. The characters felt real and I grew very invested in the outcome of the story.

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