Vanished. A Novel
Vanished, a novel by N.V. Baker, is a great read, especially for those who love travel. It is a novel that takes place over the span of nearly thirty years and in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries. The plot is broken up into two timelines: the first following a young woman traveling the world by land in 1978, and the second following a middle-aged professor in 2007 who is trying to figure out what happened to her.
The first two hundred pages of the book are “page turners.” The pace of the novel is exciting and the characters and plot interesting. The character of Cass, the young traveler, is believable and quite sympathetic, especially to anyone who was once eager to see the world and naïve about some aspects of it. Jack is the professor who is questioning his choices in life and looking for his lost love. The author does a beautiful job of describing Afghanistan and Iran in the 1970s and the Czech Republic in 2007. The novel is based on the author’s own travels.
The novel would make a good movie. It has a lot of action in the last hundred pages. The last third of the novel is less interesting and more melodramatic, a big contrast to the first two-thirds. The ending segments are more like an action movie, and the author seems to have lost sight of some of the believability and insights into humankind that she highlights in the first part of the book. Still yet, the novel is an enjoyable and worthwhile read overall.
N. V. Baker
N. V. Baker