BOOK REVIEW: The Vanishing by Sophia Tobin

A story of intrigue and revenge…
On top of the Yorkshire Moors, in an isolated spot carved out of the barren landscape lies White Windows, a house of shadows and secrets. Here lives Marcus Twentyman, a hard-drinking but sensitive man and his sister Hester.
When Annaleigh, a young girl who has fled her home in London, finds herself at the remote house, engaged as housekeeper to the Twentymans, she discovers all is not as it seems behind closed doors.
Isolated and lonely, Annaleigh is increasingly drawn to her master. And as their relationship intensifies, she soon realises that her movements are being controlled and her life is no longer her own. Slowly she is drawn into a web of intrigue and darkness, and soon she must face  her fears if she is to save herself.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 388

The Vanishing is an intriguing read. It is very much in the gothic style and put me in mind of both Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Set in 1814, Annaleigh has been sent to White Windows on the Yorkshire Moors to take up the position of housekeeper. The setting is desolate and the house suitably spooky and foreboding. She is to work for brother and sister Marcus and Hester Twentyman. Hester is a little nervous and protective and Marcus mysterious and unpredictable. Yet Annaleigh settles into the house well and they are pleased with her work. Just as Annaleigh begins to settle, questions are raised about Kate, the previous housekeeper who seemingly disappeared into the night. Hester is administering medication to Annaleigh more and more under the guise of helping her headaches and Marcus is growing closer and closer. All of a sudden Annaleigh feels out of her depth and completely at the mercy of the Twentymans and the problem is that she has no idea what they have planned for her.
The Vanishing is so well written and I loved the foreboding, moody atmosphere that Sophia Tobin creates. There is tension from the very first page and it continues to increase as the story develops.
Annaleigh is extremely naïve but feisty, she really has to fight in this book and she is a good example of just how hard it was for women at the time to get just basic rights.
I don’t want to say much more but I would highly recommend this book. It is dark and shocking in places, perfect for fans of gothic fiction. I read this as it was my book club’s choice and I think it will give us plenty to talk about.

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