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The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone
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The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

Bookseller Recommendation

If you enjoyed The Virgin Suicides, then you’ll love The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone.

“Very reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides, this novel focuses on the three Van Apfel girls, especially on the charismatic middle daughter, Cordelia. Told from the point of view of Tikka, she and her sister Lauren's friendship with the Van Apfel girls is front and center. The timeline weaves through past and present, leading always toward when the three sisters disappeared. The tension in the Van Apfel household is palpable, as is the new male teacher who seems to be ever crossing boundaries. Only one of the sisters is ever found, but that only lends to the mystery. I was as engrossed as Tikka in the Van Apfel girls, and I feel that their possible fate is going to haunt me for a long time to come. Loved the narration, which really highlights the Australian setting. ”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore

Description

"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 Malloy was eleven and one-sixth years old during the long hot summer of 1992, living in an Australian suburb with her sister and their three best friends. 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, of the summer that left her frozen in the past, of the girls that she never forgot.

Part mystery, part darkly comic coming-of-age story, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is a stunning debut—with a dark, shimmering absence at its heart.


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