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Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

Elsewhere is not the type of book I usually read, but I was drawn to it by the blurb.

Once I started it, I was motivated to keep reading to figure it out...unfortunately I never really did. But then I realized figuring it out wasn't the point of the book. It was deeper than that.

In a small secluded town, where outsiders never come, something happens. And it seems to be accepted as normal. Mothers disappear. On some random morning, a mother in the town is just gone...vanished. Then, the town gathers, and within a short time, it is as though she never existed.

So I was caught up in the why and the where do they go and why hasn't the town figured out how to stop this? It was about halfway through the book I realized that the disappearing wasn't the point. The love of the mother was the point. In this case, the main character, Vera.

Engaging, hard to put down, I'm still pondering! Great book, well-done.

About the book:

Vera grows up in a small town, removed and isolated, pressed up against the mountains, cloud-covered and damp year-round. This town, fiercely protective, brutal and unforgiving in its adherence to tradition, faces a singular affliction: some mothers vanish, disappearing into the clouds. It is the exquisite pain and intrinsic beauty of their lives; it sets them apart from people elsewhere and gives them meaning.

Vera, a young girl when her own mother went, is on the cusp of adulthood herself. As her peers begin to marry and become mothers, they speculate about who might be the first to go, each wondering about her own fate. Reveling in their gossip, they witness each other in motherhood, waiting for signs: this one devotes herself to her child too much, this one not enough—that must surely draw the affliction's gaze. When motherhood comes for Vera, she is faced with the question: will she be able to stay and mother her beloved child, or will she disappear?


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