Zoe Whittaker has it all. She has a handsome, rich husband, a bustling social schedule and all the world’s finest things at her fingertips. While at a charity benefit, Zoe is stopped by a woman who calls her Hilary. Zoe dismisses this. But what no one knows is that years earlier, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then she wasn’t Zoe. She was Hillary. And now all her old secrets are coming back to haunt her….
The Vanishing Year, by Kate Moretti, is another one of those books marketed in the psychological/domestic thriller genre and what an awesome addition it was! It is always difficult to review books in this genre, without giving away any spoilers so I will be brief and vague, but the underlying message is that I ended up loving this book.
Initially, I wasn’t really sure how I was feeing about this novel. For the majority of the time that I was reading it, I didn’t really feel like anything was going on or coming together. I was enjoying it but it all felt disjointed and I wasn’t sure how it was all correlated. Once I realized the connections, I was flabbergasted. WHAT. AN. ENDING.
The novel opens in 2014, where we meet Zoe (whom the novel is narrated by) and her husband, Henry. He is a Wall Street tycoon; she is an example of classic “rags to riches” story. We learn immediately that Zoe is hiding a secret past and that no one, not even Henry has been made aware. As bits and pieces of her past come into her present, she becomes fearful of her life and struggles with who to trust and where to go.
As I said previously, this novel required quite a bit of patience from me. It was one of those books that felt like more of a slow burn and felt extremely disjointed. Between learning about Zoe’s past, her hunt for her birth mother and the inside scoop into her marriage- there was so much going on, I didn’t understand how anything was going to fit. Moretti does a fantastic job at giving the reader scraps and making them beg for more. As confused as I was, and as hesitant as I was to continue, I couldn’t put this one down!
I think that fans of Mary Kubica or of Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris would enjoy this book. They had a similar vibe.