Author : Eve Chase
Title : The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde
Pages : 336
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : July 13, 2017
From the present day . . .
Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it’s the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.
to the fifties . . .
When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of ’59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before.
The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s vanishing – until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart?
Creepy gothic manor in the country? A mystery surrounding a missing girl? Dual time line historical fiction? I didn’t really need anything else to persuade me to pick up this book. But this is also one of those times when writing a review is a real struggle for me as I find it hard to find the words to say how beautiful and special this novel is.
The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde centres around two families in two different eras. In the present day, Jessie moves her family to Applecote Manor in the Cotswolds. They need a fresh start, new surroundings, a chance to come together as a family. But the manor and its grounds haven’t always been a happy place, causing Jessie to feel like she made a mistake in moving there.
Back in 1959, Margot and her three sisters spend a scorching summer at Applecote Manor, which is owned by their aunt and uncle. Their daughter Audrey disappeared without a trace five years ago and her parents have had a hard time moving on. Margot was especially close to Audrey and has always wondered what happened to her. Will these scorching summer weeks finally reveal the answer?
I found myself completely absorbed in the atmosphere of this story from the very first page. Often I feel one era appeals to me more and I can’t get wait to get back to it but I didn’t find that the case here. As eager as I was to find out what happened to Audrey, I was equally invested in the circumstances of Jessie and her family, in particular her stepdaughter Bella.
The mystery surrounding Audrey’s disappearance is revealed bit by bit, which really held my attention. Throughout the story, we explore the bonds between sisters, the secrets they keep , the squabbles they have and the boys they like. And each sister is so different from the other, you will have no problem whatsoever relating to at least one of them. The story also covers the importance of family, loss and grief and the different ways people deal with those events. It just has everything to keep you utterly enthralled.
There’s something quite magical about Eve Chase’s writing. With such vivid descriptions, I could almost feel the sun burning on my skin or imagine the sweet relief of water in a pool or river. This is such a delightful and beautifully written novel and I absolutely loved it! I will soon be picking up the author’s previous novel, Black Rabbit Hall, and very much look forward to whatever is next.
The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde is available now!