Watch Me Disappear

Watch Me Disappear

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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Random House, Inc.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The disappearance of a beautiful, charismatic mother leaves her family to piece together her secrets in this propulsive novel for fans of Big Little Lies—from the bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Watch Me Disappear is just as riveting as Gone Girl.”—San Francisco Chronicle

Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are.

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.

But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, but also about themselves, learning, in the process, about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown’s insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page.

Praise for Watch Me Disappear

Watch Me Disappear is a surprising and compelling read. Like the best novels, it takes the reader somewhere she wouldn’t otherwise allow herself to go. . . . It’s strongest in the places that matter most: in the believability of its characters and the irresistibility of its plot.”Chicago Tribune

“Janelle Brown’s third family drama delivers an incisive and emotional view of how grief and recovery from loss can seep into each aspect of a person’s life. . . . Brown imbues realism in each character, whose complicated emotions fuel the suspenseful story.”Associated Press

“When a Berkeley mother vanishes and is declared dead, her daughter is convinced she’s alive in Janelle Brown’s thriller, calling to mind Big Little Lies and Gone Girl.”Variety

Baker & Taylor
When a woman goes missing during a hike in California's Desolation Wilderness, her devastated family is forced to come to terms with her secretive nature. By the best-selling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Baker
& Taylor

"A beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past vanishes while hiking, leaving her family to piece together her secrets, in this keenly observed novel for readers of Emma Straub and Maria Semple--from the bestselling author ofAll We Ever Wanted Was Everything"--
When a Berkeley mother with a radical past goes missing during a hike in California's Desolation Wilderness, her devastated family is forced to come to terms with her secretive nature.
"Billie is a beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past--a teenage runaway from Northern California who took up with a group of environmental activists wanted by the FBI, lived dangerously, but when she meets Jonathan, a tech magazine editor and all around good guy, she settles easily into the life of an eco-conscious, stay-at-home suburban yoga mom. Their daughter Olive, under her mother's watchful gaze, becomes a lovely, introverted, slightly eccentric girl. As she reaches adolescence and needs Billie's full-time attention less, Billie throws herself into extreme sports--marathons, scuba diving, rock climbs, solo hikes. On one of these expeditions, Billie vanishes from the trail--only a hiking boot is found. The family is devastated--a year of intense mourning passes in which they await the closure that a body and a death certificate will bring. Jonathan drinks; Olive grows remote. But then she starts having waking dreams--hallucinations?--in which her very vibrant mother urges the girl to look for her, and Olive begins to believe her mother is still alive and in trouble. Jonathan believes the trauma and anxiety of losing her mother is making Olive ill, until he uncovers a secret that that compels him to consider that Billie may not be dead after all and sends him on his own quest for the truth--about Billie, their marriage, and the things people do in the name of love.."--

Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, c2017
ISBN: 9780812989465
Branch Call Number: FIC BRO
Characteristics: 358 p. ;,25 cm.

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ronandlynda
Aug 24, 2017

Featured in People Picks August 2017 (People Magazine)

Cynthia_N Jul 26, 2017

Thought I had it figured out but I did not! Great read!!!

g
gailjackman
Jul 25, 2017

I thought this book would be more "mysterious" than it really was, so I was disappointed in it throughout - even the ending which I'd predicted.

s
SaturdayLibrarian
Jul 11, 2017

I loved every second of this twisty, turning, could-not-put-it-down tale! There were so many gasp worthy moments that fans of the Husband's Secret would probably delight in. I would love for there to be a book two entirely from Billie's perspective.

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