Told over the course of one year on the Kamchatka peninsula, this character-driven novel takes us to "places of astonishing beauty: densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and glassy seas." When two sisters, ages eight and eleven, go missing on the shoreline of northeast Russia, their tight-knit community is deeply affected. The reader gets to see how each character is impacted: everyone from the neighbor, to the detective, to the mother. And in this isolated region, we see how a community can come together or fall apart in the midst of fear and crisis.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
National Best Seller
“Splendidly imagined . . . Thrilling” –Simon Winchester
“A genuine masterpiece” –Gary Shteyngart
Spellbinding, moving–evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world–this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer.
One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls–sisters, eight and eleven–go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.
Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty–densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and 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, and through a young writer’s virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this 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.