Kate Moretti is one of those authors that can make words sing. It’s one thing to just tell a story, but quite another to wrap all these different plots together so by the end you’re like – wow how did she do that?
The Vanishing Year follows the life of Zoe, a flower shop girl turned rich guy’s wife. It’s the modern day fairy tale: girl meets rich guy, rich guy falls head over heels for her, the end. Except not. This rich guy’s wife is struggling to find a place in her husband’s world, to prove that he really wasn’t crazy to marry a poor nobody like her. She gets a lot of help from Henry, her husband, though. Henry likes to take care of Zoe. To guide her in her choices. In the very first scenes he is overruling her jewelry selection for a benefit she is chairing that night, taking off her pearls and replacing them with a single diamond the size of Rhode Island. It’s ok with Zoe, though. She doesn’t mind that he makes the smallest decisions for her. She feels cared for while the reader sits back, their control freak radar starting to ding.
From the very beginning we learn that Zoe has a secret past, another identity. She testified against some bad guys on the other side of the country. Then she ran to the Big Apple and lost herself in that anonymous sea of humanity, eventually finding her job at the flower shop and, from there, sliding into Henry’s world. Henry doesn’t know anything about her past life, though. She hasn’t told him.
Zoe has told Henry she was adopted, and that she would like to find her real mother. Henry isn’t real keen on this idea, preferring that Zoe live in the present and focus on him and their life together. <<what’s that sound I hear?>><<dingdingding>> Through the benefit mentioned above, she meets a reporter who offers to help her find her mother. He’s done it before and he’d be happy to help. Zoe decides to accept said help. And neglects to tell Henry.
From about that moment, Zoe’s life starts going crazy. A car nearly mows her over. Her apartment is broken into. Have the bad guys tracked her down? While these terrifying things are happening, she is still on the quest to find her mother.
<<double sigh>> That’s about as much as I can tell you without giving anything away. Let’s just say that none of the answers are as easy as Zoe might think. Certainly, they aren’t as easy as the reader might think.
Kate Moretti’s writing grabs you fast and puts you on the front seat of her roller coaster ride, one of those that twirls you around, upside down, this way and that until finally you’re back at the station with your heart beating out of your chest and your hair standing on end. Honey, you need a brush.