20190422_180502.jpgToday I have a review of The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean and publishing via Algonquin Books tomorrow, June 25, 2019! A big thanks to Algonquin for my copy!

Picture Note: this was the day that Dickens decided he also needed a tray, and I decided to work with him on that. 😂 It made for interesting pictures!

My Thoughts:

Tikka Malloy’s playmates, the Van Apfel sisters, disappeared when she was eleven years old. It’s a mystery haunting her and her sister, Laura, for years. 

Ruth, Hannah, and Cordelia have harsh, religious parents, and it’s never been known if they ran away or were taken. 

Tikka has now returned home as an adult to try to grasp just what happened to the sisters that summer. 

If you are looking for a fresh take on a suspenseful read, this is your book! The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is an engaging mystery, as well as a campy coming-of-age story. It’s a compelling page-turner, and I’ve read nothing remotely like this premise or the way in which it was executed. 

The story has a melancholy tone, and the writing is lush and descriptive. I loved the Australia setting. Tikka and Laura shoulder some blame, as children often do, when things like this happen, whether it’s warranted or not. McLean captures the poignancy in their emotions, as well those as rippling through the small community from which these girls are lost. 

Overall, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is uniquely its own story. It’s captivating, original, and keeps you guessing. There’s a haze of ambiguity, and my mind was spinning. This is just how I like my mysteries! 

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

About the Book:


A Recommended Summer Read from Entertainment Weekly * Bustle * Nylon * Cosmopolitan

“How do you escape your childhood, emotionally, actually?  This compelling mystery has a rare depth of psychological and emotional truth. It will engage your heart.” —Delia Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of Siracusa

Tikka Malloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long, hot, Australian summer of 1992. The TV news in the background chattered with debate about the exoneration of Lindy (“dingo took my baby”) Chamberlain. That summer was when the Van Apfel sisters–Ruth, Hannah, and the beautiful Cordelia–mysteriously disappeared. Did they just run far away from their harsh, evangelical parents, or were they taken? While the search for the girls united the small community, the mystery of their disappearance was never solved, and Tikka and her older sister, Laura, have been haunted ever since by the loss of their friends and playmates.

Now, years later, Tikka has returned home to try to make sense of that strange moment in time.

Part mystery, part darkly comic coming-of-age story, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a page-turning read–with a dark, shimmering absence at its heart.

Have you read The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR