UK Publishing Date: 21 Apr 2016. 384 pages.
The story begins in London in 1970. At the age of twenty seven Audrey Bailey is alone in the world. Her father has died leaving her an orphan. At the urging of her friend Janet she boards a ship and travels half way round the world to India. In Bombay a new life awaits her. A vibrant, noisy and hot city that is very different to London but soon she calls it home. When she meets Ralph Templeton she can’t believe her luck. The handsome stranger in an expensive suit who soon begins to woo her and claim her as his own.
The book opens with twins John and Alexandra searching a cruise ship for their seventy year old mother who has not been seen for 39 hours. It is starting to look like she might have gone overboard. What has happened to Audrey Templeton?
The Disappearance is a beautifully written family saga with more than a hint of darkness woven through the years. Ralph Templeton is a cold and calculating man capable of rape, murder and spousal abuse. His children grew up in fear of their father and were largely protected by Audrey.
The familial discourse and the relationships between the remaining members is fascinating and worth a read just for that alone. I think it would make quite a good book club read because there are so many issues that it throws up. Quite aside from the suspense of Audrey’s disappearance there are many talking points around the spousal abuse, infidelity, elder care etc.
It was very different to what I was expecting from the cover and was an intriguing read that kept me engrossed until the end.
Supplied by Net Galley and MIRA in exchange for an honest review.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.