Disappearing Earth

Disappearing Earth

A Novel

eBook - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year National Book Award Finalist Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard prize Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize National Best Seller A Best Book of 2019: The Washington Post, NPR,  Kirkus "Splendidly imagined . . . Thrilling" --Simon Winchester "A genuine masterpiece" --Gary Shteyngart Spellbinding, moving--evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world--this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer. One August afternoon, on the shoreline of the Kamchatka peninsula at the northeastern edge of Russia, two girls--sisters, eight and eleven--go missing. In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women. Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty--densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska--and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused. In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.
Publisher: [S.l.]: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2019.
ISBN: 9780525520429
Characteristics: 272 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 19, 2021

Modern Mrs Darcy

Nov 26, 2020

A well written and well constructed book that reads like a series of short stories.

However, the book falls apart at it's end. You never know what has happened, has no insight into the criminal, nor any indication of the victim's treatment. I don't want to give away the ending but it was very unsatisfying compared to, let's say, Tana French's psychological works.

Oct 27, 2020

Set in Kamchatka, a place and people I knew nothing about. I learned a lot about this part of the world-its native peoples, geography, traditions, weather and daily life. But the story of 2 young children being abducted I found painful and the lives of the locals that we meet were equally bleak and hard. The ending however made the effort worthwhile.

Sep 11, 2020

What a beautifully constructed novel! The author had me in the opening chapter, the chapter in which two small girls are abducted. Where she took me from there was unexpected but she never lost sight of it. She took me on a journey through a place, the Kamchatka Peninsula, about which I previously knew nothing and harbored no hidden desire to change. But wow, she had me. I was invested in each chapter of this book right up until, well... the two closing chapters. I admit, I needed to go online to understand the final chapters and when I did, I went back and reread them and all made perfect sense. A talent has arrived. Disappearing Earth is a beautifully constructed and written debut novel. I very much look forward to the author's future writings.

Tigard_AnnmarieA Jul 22, 2020

This is a beautifully written and compelling story set in the remote Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka. It begins from the viewpoint of two sisters, 8 and 11, who are returning from exploring the beach when they are abducted. Rather than focusing on their story, or that of their male abductor or the police investigating the crime, as is usual, it instead moves over the course of a year, month by month, to the viewpoints of various women in the community, many of whom belong to indigenous tribes. It depicts a snapshot of their lives, and how the abduction has affected them. Then it circles around to tie the threads of the stories together with a nail biting ending. Highly recommended.

Jul 03, 2020

I returned Disappearing Earth to the he Woods Library outside drop box on June 29. Why did I get an overdue notice?

JCLMELODYK Apr 06, 2020

I never forget a novel that introduces me to a place. Kamchatka, a remote Siberian peninsula is the setting for this mystery about two sisters who are abducted. I could not put this book down and the end did not disappoint! I also appreciated the cast of characters page that helped me keep track of everyone.

janefmooradian Apr 06, 2020

A very sensitive mystery set in a seldom heard of part of the world. It addresses the clash of cultures between the natives on this remote arctic peninsula and the Russians that have infiltrated since the Soviet days. A delectable interweaving of characters in a magical landscape.

JCLFlanneryC Apr 03, 2020

Ostensibly a mystery following the disappearance of two young girls from Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, Disappearing Earth spins out in many different directions, following the loves, lives, and frequent disappointments of a circle of loosely connected women. Some chapters are better than others; one can't doubt the enormous amount of research that went into this book, but the lack of lived experience makes some chapters feel especially invented. I'm bummed that this book did not focus more on the mystery at the heart of this book, which is SO thrilling, but gets so little space. Obviously the author wanted to write more than a mystery novel, but her talent for drawing the reader in seems spread thin over so many chapters. Many, many readers loved this book more than I, so if your interest is piqued, don't be deterred! Rich, textured writing about the landscape and people of this remote lands will reward even the surliest critic.

Feb 27, 2020

Disappearing Earth is a fabulous read. the story centers around an area of Russia we rarely hear, see or read about called Kamchatka. It is the Russian peninsula closest to Alaska, filled with wildlife and native populations. The story is beautifully written and very subtle and yet the reader's desire for understanding builds impatiently.. and you don't really know what you are wanting to conclude..there are mysteries but they are described as so tangential to the action in each chapter you feel they are there only so that the author can deepen our sympathies with the characters.

Read it, a lovely book, extraordinarily well written that educates about an unknown geography, unknown first peoples, misogyny, discrimination, racism...all poetically.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Jan 23, 2021

You believe that you keep yourself safe, she thought. You lock up your mind and guard your reactions so nobody, not an interrogator or a parent or a friend, will break in. You earn a graduate degree and a good position. You keep your savings in a foreign currency and you pay your bills on time. When your colleagues ask you about your home life, you don't answer. You work harder. You exercise. Your clothing flatters. You keep the edge of your affection sharp, a knife, so that those near you know to handle it carefully. You think you established some protection and then you discover that you endangered yourself to everyone you ever met.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top