Three Ways to Disappear
I got to talk with local author Katy Yocom on What Should I Read Next. Her book takes place in India and Kentucky, while one nomadic sister travels to India to help save the endangered Bengal tigers and the other stays home in Kentucky offering support from afar. A complicated family story weaves in and out of a travel narrative with stunning descriptions and increasing tension. In her WSIRN episode, Katy mentioned being constantly on the hunt for absorbing novels with plots that not only incorporate the natural world, but ones in which the story absolutely depends upon it. Her fondness for nature writing shines in her own book as well.
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.
With dramatic urgency, a powerful sense of place, and a beautifully rendered cast of characters revealing a deep understanding of human nature in all its flawed glory, Katy Yocom has created an unforgettable novel about saving all that is precious, from endangered species to the indelible bonds among family.