Friday, August 8, 2014

Title: The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Narrator:  Cassandra Campbell
Series: n/a
Length:  6 hrs 40 mins
Publisher: Harper Audio
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: audio from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

I've only read one other book by Jodi Lynn Anderson, and that was Tiger Lily, which I rather enjoyed. I found a lot of similarities between The Vanishing Season and the other book, including Anderson's narrative style and her propensity toward leaving her readers' hearts shattered, both of which make for a very compelling read.

This audiobook is lovely...deceptively so, for there are strange things happening in Door County. Oddly enough, the Tiger Lily audiobook was also narrated by the very capable Cassandra Campbell. I didn't fully enjoy her voice the first time I heard her narrate an audiobook -- and it may very well have been Tiger Lily, in which she used a very childlike voice -- but now I can honestly say her approach to the books she narrates has really grown on me. (ETA: I totally just realized I was confusing two Cassandras. But still, Cassandra Campbell is a fabulous narrator.) With 380 titles under her belt on Audible, I'm obviously not the only one who appreciates her performances. In this novel, her voice is haunting and sad and lends an eerie sense of calm to the story. Whereas the narration in the audiobook detracted some from Tiger Lily, here I think it is essential. At least, that's how it was for me.

The story is told from the perspective of an unknown narrator. Perhaps the house turned sentient or the ghost of a past resident...or maybe even the Door County Killer. It's not made clear until the story comes to a close and everything has come full circle. I, for one, loved not knowing who was behind the keen observations in The Vanishing Season. But that did not stop me from hazarding guess after guess.

This novel won't be for everyone, as evidenced by the many mixed reviews I've seen come across my feed over the past few months. But the same was true of Lucy Christopher's The Killing Woods, and I rather enjoyed that book, as well. In fact, I'd liken the two stories due to the air of mystery and danger, as well as the fact that the settings in each book seem to come alive and become characters in their own rights.

I'm not going to sugarcoat things: this novel is absolutely depressing. But it's not always depressing. It's rife with longing and loss and betrayal and love. It will leave you loathing some characters and crying for others, but in the end, you'll find that none of it matters. It's actually really perplexing to me how much I liked this story despite all of that...or in spite of it all. I'm not sure who I'd recommend this story to because those that I expected to love it didn't and others who I didn't even expect to read the book ended up liking it as much as I did, if not more. The Vanishing Season is really one of those books that you just have to try for yourself.

GIF it to me straight:

About the author:

I write books about vaguely magical peach orchards, resorts in the afterlife, enigmatic island princesses beloved by Tinkerbell, and...civics! I was an awkward and strange child who kept lots of secrets. Now I live with a sweet Basenji dog named Peanut who loves to eat shoes, and a sweet husband who is good at all the things I'm bad at, like being organized and thinking things through. I've loved writing and reading about mythical and strange things since I can remember.

Find Jodi Lynn:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads


  1. That gif is a perfect reaction to the last book I finished. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for this as well, so I'm glad that you liked it well enough.

  2. What a lovely, honest review! I love the idea of an unknown narrator. I liked that aspect of The Kiss of Deception so much so it really inspires more interest in this story.

    I think I'll give it a try soon. Thanks for the 'depressive' warning. I'll save this one for a rainy, melancholy day. <3

    P.S. Also, I see that you're reading Salt & Storm! I'm so excited to see what you think! I'll be starting it soon myself!

  3. I'm listening to this soon and your review is such a relief. I loved Tiger Lily and hope I like this one too.

  4. I'm glad you liked this one! I had mixed the beginning was a bit too slow and aimless for me, but the end? The ending kind of sent me spinning. o.O DID NOT SEE THAT COMING. I'm still confused to who the narrator was, but I heard a few interesting theories. I got really mad a Liam though. :| And a bit at Pauline. *sigh* I love that gif though. ;)


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