My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved experiencing this book. The entire thing involves the public theorizing about Violet’s sudden disappearance from her own magic show ten years prior. This is done in the form of podcasts, letters, interviews, etc., dedicated to the mystery. In addition, we see a narrative that pushes the current time frame of the story along with her sister Sasha.
The book has some great juxtaposition between all these people who idolized Violet for her work and Sasha who has some anger and resentment towards her sister. I loved that Violet herself is not the focus, but the influence that she had on everyone around her, both family and fans. Seeing all the different sides of her that everyone knew was fascinating. You spend a lot of time through the book piecing all the bits of information together knowing you will never actually get to know her completely.
All My Thoughts
May contain spoilers.
This book is a really great example of an experience that’s all about the journey more so than the destination. Full disclosure and very spoilery, but you never truly get the answers you’re wanting through the book. But I do genuinely feel like that works very well for the story. I kind of think it wouldn’t have the same effect after if the mysteries had been fully revealed.
I enjoyed that while the center of all the attention was Violet, she wasn’t truly a character of the story. Her disappearance, the life she had lived up to that point, and the impact she had on everyone around her were all the focus. The story is told through all of these people in various ways. We see podcasts dedicated to the mystery of her disappearance, news articles, interviews with people form her life, etc. It all feels like second hand information because we never really get to find out who Violet truly was. Everyone has their own version of her. In order to push the narrative of the story along though, we get chapters told from her sister Sasha’s perspective. These are a perfect balance to the sensationalized depictions of Violet from fans and lovers she had over the years. I adore that absolutely no one has a straight answer about why she disappeared and if she’s even still alive. Again, this is the central appeal of the book.
While everyone is trying to figure out Violet on the ten year anniversary of her grand disappearance, it’s also really interesting to see how this is impacting Sasha. The author does a really seamless job of showing us the real intimate past of the two sisters that is less in the spotlight and also the extreme way Sasha has been affected by everything her whole life. The truly bizarre secrets about the both of them unravel slowly and this is balanced so well with the rest of the chaos happening around Sasha. I love that the public at large is left wondering and speculating by the end of the book, though Sasha herself gets the closure she needs.
While the story itself was really entertaining, I genuinely feel the audio version of this really adds a whole new layer. The range of cast included and the well done sound design really immerse you in this idea that it is more than just a book.
This was a fantastic story and really engaging audiobook. A fun mystery that keeps some of it’s secrets at the end. Highly recommend the audiobook version, though I do think it stands on it’s own with as well.