Saturday 15 June 2019

#BlogTour The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean. It's a psychological thriller which also belongs in the category of literary fiction.
About the Author
Felicity McLean was born in Sydney Australia. She graduated at Sydney University with a BA in English and Australian literature and worked as a book publicist before embarking on a freelance career. Her journalism has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, The Courier Mail and the Big Issue, among others, and she has ghost-written celebrity autobiographies. The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is her first novel. She lives with her English husband and two young children in Australia.

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Buy The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

About the book
'We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with.'

Tikka Molloy was eleven years old during the long hot summer of 1992, growing up in an isolated suburb in Australia surrounded by encroaching bushland. That summer, the hottest on record, was when the Van Apfel sisters – Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth – mysteriously disappeared during the school's ‘Showstopper’ concert, held at the outdoor amphitheatre by the river.

Did they run away? Were they taken? While the search for the sisters unites the small community, the mystery of their disappearance has never been solved. Now, years later, Tikka has returned home and is beginning to make sense of that strange moment in time. The summer that shaped her. The girls that she never forgot.

It has the same kind of nostalgic 'caught in time' essence of The Girls by Emma Cline. The coming of age and introspective reflection on childhood friendships like Stand by Me. This comfortable vibe of the carelessness and freedom of long gone eras, which cannot be replicated in the 21st century.

This essence surrounds the story and only opens up a narrow path, a door or lets us look behind the curtain at specific moments. These moments speak of something dark, nefarious and relentless waiting there for the right opportunity.

The story begins as it ends with Tikka's obsession with the disappearance of her childhood friend and her two sisters. Instead of focusing on the loved ones and how they have dealt with the situation, the author shows the tragedy from the perspective of a then young girl. Someone who lost her friends and subsequently has spent years wondering not only why, who and where, but also whether something she didn't do is the actual reason for their disappearance.

You can feel it, almost touch it even. A conversation or situation that bodes ill intent. A quick moment of brutal violence or the suggestion of a threat. When combined with the fact there is no solution, well it creates the perfect captivating read.

McLean uses the obsessive aspect of the missing children to plot, despite not giving the reader what they want the most. Instead she places us, the readers, in the middle and then sets flares off in a variety of locations and by multiple personas. The result is the belief the solution is in immediate grasp only to be ripped away again.

It's a psychological thriller which also belongs in the category of literary fiction. It lets readers taste the danger at certain moments and then dangles a more innocent scenario in front of them. It's what makes this book so compelling, and the fact McLean concludes the story with what we started with. It's a bold move, a realistic one, and it's a great read.

Buy The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Point Blank; pub date 6 June 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Point Blank. Buy at Waterstones.