One day in August on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a remote area in northeastern Russia, two young sisters are kidnapped by a man with a round face and a well taken care of dark sedan. Disappearing Earth depicts, in twelve vignettes characters from the region whose lives are closely or loosely tied to the missing girls. There is Alla, whose youngest daughter has been missing for four years, Oksana, who thinks she saw the girls get into the kidnapper’s car, Marina the mother of the missing sisters, as well as others.
I thought Phillips’ debut novel was fantastic. First of all, I love learning about people and places I never knew existed. Also, all the characters are finely drawn with just enough tension in their lives for me to remember them and want to continue reading. Don’t worry about their foreign names; Phillips describes the cast of characters at the beginning of Disappearing Earth.