When You Disappeared – John Marrs. Read in 2018.
I started this year by reading ‘The One’ by John Marrs. I’ve now unintentionally (almost) ended it with another of his books.
‘When You Disappeared’ is a story about a husband who leaves his wife and then twenty five years later he comes back to explain to her exactly what happened, why he left, and what he’s been doing in the last quarter of a century.
Simon and Catherine were childhood sweethearts. They are married, with three children. Sadly, it was four children, but a tragic accident meant that little Billy didn’t make it to his second birthday.
It is after this event that Simon decides he wants to commit suicide but every time he tries it, he stops himself and heads back home because ultimately, he doesn’t actually want to die. He decides to just ‘disappear’ and so, one morning, Catherine wakes up to find him gone. At first she assumes he’s gone for a run, but when she sees his running shoes by the front door, she knows something is wrong.
The book takes you through what happens to both Simon and Catherine after he vanishes. Simon has come back home to explain everything to Catherine, knowing that all of it will absolutely destroy her. What he doesn’t expect, is how he will feel, going back. He doesn’t expect the stories that Catherine tells him and the ending is really something quite spectacular and unexpected.
Most of the way through, whilst loving the book, I hated both characters a little bit. I knew Simon was a complete and utter idiot, but for a long time, Catherine annoyed me too. I got very frustrated with Simon and wanted him to just explain why he’d left. I wanted him to own up to his actions and stop blaming other people.
By the end of the book, I liked Catherine and really wanted her to be happy. In fact, by the end, I’d forgotten why she had annoyed me so much to begin with. Simon is a complete and utter moron. (& that’s putting it nicely!)
All in all, this book is fantastic and I loved it. It takes a bloody good writer to make you feel such strong emotions about the characters. When I read the last few pages, I even cried a little.
John is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. I can’t wait to read another one of his books.
On Goodreads, I gave this book 4 stars. It should be 4.5 but I can’t do that! Haha. It is one of those books that gradually gets you to the halfway point and then all of a sudden it’s a sprint to the last page. I couldn’t put it down. I was completely engrossed in it. Highly recommend.
Sadly, I read this book on Kindle so I can’t do a proper photograph of the book, but I have done a screen shot from Amazon so you can see the synopsis.
Let me know if you read it and enjoy it as much as I did.