Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Book Review: The Nature of Disappearing, by Kimi Cunningham Grant

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Emlyn takes a shower. She brews herself a cup of tea. She picks up her library book and tries to read. She wanders back to the bathroom and combs her long hair, still wet.

What just happened? Did Janessa, in a matter of five minutes, completely convince Emlyn to stop seeing someone? A person she’d felt a real connection with. Who maybe liked her, too. And she’d barely pushed back; she’d hardly resisted. Her word swims to her. Pathetic. She stares at herself in the mirror and sees that she is frowning, eyes narrowed. She looks like her mothers.

Tyler was right. Since that first meeting at Bumpy’s Diner, Janessa has always called the shots. She decides where they go on a Friday night, what they eat, what they drink. She sets the tone. And Emlyn has gone along with it. But she thinks of her swim with Tyler, the stars glittering overhead, the feel of his lips on her forehead, and for the first time, she doesn’t want to go along with Janessa’s plans.

Emlyn is used to not getting what she wants, and settling for what she gets. After starting her life over again without her college friend, Janessa, or the man she thought may be the grand love of her life, she isn’t sure that she should risk it all helping the two of them again.

Official synopsis:
Book Review: The Nature of Disappearing, by Kimi Cunningham Grant
Emlyn doesn't let herself think about the past.

How she and her best friend, Janessa, barely speak anymore. How Tyler, the love of her life, left her half dead on the side of the road three years ago.

Her new life is simple and safe. She lives alone in her Airstream trailer and works as a fishing and hunting guide in scenic Idaho. Her closest friends are the community's makeshift reverend and a handsome Forest Service ranger who took her in at her lowest.

But when Tyler shows up with the news that Janessa is missing, Emlyn is propelled back into the world she worked so hard to forget. Janessa has become a social media star, documenting her #vanlife adventures with her rugged boyfriend. She hasn't posted lately, though, and when Emlyn realizes the most recent photo doesn't match up with its caption, she reluctantly joins Tyler to find her old friend. As the two trace Janessa's path through miles of wild country, Emlyn can't deny the chemistry still crackling between them. But the deeper they press into the wilderness, the more she begins to suspect that a darker truth lies in the woods―and that Janessa isn't the only one in danger.

Emlyn has found herself pretty content in her new life. She was rescued from the side of the road, near death, and nursed back to health by the members of a close knit community who make most of their living off of the tourists and the forest. She quickly finds her skills make her an excellent fishing and hunting guide.

When her past comes back, she isn’t sure if she should help out, but she knows things are unlikely to end well otherwise. She consults with Rev, whose great insight with people could give her answers, but Rev of course can’t give her clear answers of what she should or should not do. Emlyn reluctantly tries to help the two people who practically turned their backs on her. 

Emlyn and the characters from her past were so clear and engaging. While they started out seeming like they’d all be close forever, they each had their secrets even then. Their stories when they all meet up again are suspenseful, especially with the addition of a character who was never mentioned in their earlier lives. The unpredictable story earned 4 out of 5 stars and would be great for those who enjoy outdoorsy stories and thrillers.

{click here to purchase via Amazon Affiliate link}

Becki Bayley is a wife, reader, and mom of humans and cats. When she’s not reading, you can find her enjoying activities with her family including theater, band, and flower gardening. Check out their fun on Instagram, where she posts as SweetlyBSquared.


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