The Act of Disappearing

A Novel

by Nathan Gower

On Sale: 05/28/2024

The Act of Disappearing

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The Act of Disappearing

A Novel

by Nathan Gower

On Sale: 05/28/2024


About the Book

"Hauntingly beautiful.”
—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

“A thrilling story, remarkably told.”
—Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of
The Secrets We Kept

Julia White is struggling: her bartending job isn’t cutting it and her first book has sold hardly any copies. She’s broke, barely able to make ends meet while drowning in her late mother’s medical bills and reeling after a one-night stand with her ex-boyfriend, who’s now completely ghosted her. Enter Johnathan Aster, world-renowned photographer, with a proposal: he has a never-before-seen photograph of a woman falling from a train bridge, clutching what appears to be a baby. And he wants Julia to research the story.

Alternating between present-day Brooklyn and Kentucky as it enters the 1960s, the story unfolds as Julia races to find answers: Who was the woman in the photograph? Why was she on the bridge? And what happened to the baby? Each detail is more propulsive than the last as Julia unravels the mystery surrounding the Fairchilds of Gray Station and discovers a story more staggering than anything she could have imagined.  

Critical Praise

"An exquisite exploration of motherhood and madness and the cost of withholding the truth from generation to generation. Gower’s characters are bursting with life, and the sly way he unravels the mystery at the heart of the story is sure to surprise. Hauntingly beautiful."
—Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The Act of Disappearing is a perfectly calibrated balance of propulsive suspense and elegant prose, resulting in a complex and beautifully written debut. The novel introduces readers to compelling characters and conjures different time periods and places so vividly that they will feel the real world is falling away as they disappear into its pages."
—Silas House, author of Lark Ascending 

“Nathan Gower takes us to the most intimate spaces of his characters’ lives, with the rich prose, tolerance, and page-turning realism of a young John Steinbeck.”
—Simon Van Booy, author of Night Came with Many Stars

"This is a saga of a small-town girl, dutiful and kind—perhaps more than most—whose life is made unbearable by what are now nearly by-gone mores. Whatever the current standards oppressing those who are finding their own way, The Act of Disappearing stills a moment of time with all the poignancy of a Shakespearian tragedy."
—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab's Wife

“In tightly woven dual timelines, Nathan Gower conjures a complex mother/daughter plot that spans decades and geographies, yet one reality abides: even the most hallowed institutions and time-honored scripts will limit and even deform women’s lives. In Gower’s vision, however, and in the mystery this novel unfolds, women can vault beyond the destinies written for them. This is a book of hard-biting realism and tender mercies. A triumph for its writer.”
—Elaine Neil Orr, author of Swimming Between Worlds

The Act of Disappearing is a riveting read. The characters—from both timelines—haunted me and made it difficult to do anything else until I learned their full, true stories. Full of secrets and yearnings, this book examines many different kinds of inheritance and connection. Gower’s writing is gorgeous and the plot adeptly woven with unexpected twists. This is a fantastic debut, and I’m already eager for what he writes next.”
—Katrina Kittle, author of Morning in This Broken World

“Nathan Gower takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through time and emotional turmoil in The Act of Disappearing, a poignant story that blends history and personal struggle. Gower’s skillful storytelling keeps readers engaged and invested in Julia’s journey as well as the characters from the past. With each turn of the page, the characters became more real, their struggles and hopes more palpable. This novel is thought-provoking and beautifully written. I found myself both satisfied and saddened when I got to the final page. Gower’s voice is one that we did not know we were waiting for, but now that it is here, we will all be waiting with bated breath for his next work of fiction.”
—Angela Jackson-Brown, author of When Stars Rain Down

The Act of Disappearing broods on identity, small-town secrets, multigenerational legacies, and the claims we have to our own and others' stories. Indelible, charismatic characters—Julia White and Kate Fairchild chief among them—propel Nathan Gower's intricately plotted cold-case mystery. A beautifully imagined, splendid debut.”
—K. L. Cook, author of Marrying Kind

“Nathan Gower’s The Act of Disappearing masterfully alternates two suspenseful storylines that will keep you up turning pages straight to the stunning end. This is a remarkable debut!”
—Jessica Anya Blau, author of Mary Jane

“A thrilling story, remarkably told, Nathan Gower’s debut The Act of Disappearing is as propulsive as it is moving. A mystery lies at the heart of this novel, but Gower also never loses sight of the humanity of his characters in his honest portrayal of parenthood, family, and mental health.”
—Lara Prescott, author of New York Times Bestseller The Secrets We Kept

“Set in rural Kentucky and Brooklyn, Nathan Gower’s The Act of Disappearing is a cinematic, suspenseful literary page-turner rich with memorable and lively characters. A remarkable novel about a community’s secrets and silences, familial inheritances and myths, and the power of sharing hidden stories.”
—Carter Sickels, author of The Prettiest Star

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780778369547
  • ISBN 10: 0778369544
  • Imprint: MIRA
  • On Sale: 05/28/2024
  • Pages: 400
  • List Price:23.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Historical

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