An interesting title, The Vanishing Year, because I feel like my time spent reading it also vanished! Author Kate Moretti introduces us to Zoe who tells us her story. It starts in the present day when she is a young, beautiful, thirty something married to the very wealthy Henry Whittaker. He, of course, was the most eligible bachelor until she came along. Sigh. Every woman’s fantasy right? I digress…
Zoe had a shady event earlier in life that led to her changing her identity, hence the ‘vanishing’ in the book title. This whole storyline to me is shady, reminiscent of the Harlequin Romance novels that I’m no longer interested in, so my time reading this story has vanished, gone, never to return. Darn!
Don’t get me wrong. Kate Moretti writes beautifully such as when Zoe thinks, “It’s mine, despite the insecurities that seem to follow me around like a stray cat.” She crafts the story well, taking us back in time to understand why Zoe had those insecurities in the first place. It’s the story itself, and the characters, that are unbelievable to me.
We are told that Henry is a businessman, presumably the business owner, yet he never seems to work outside of business hours. I don’t know many business owners like that, wealthy or not. In fact, we are well into the story before he even has to leave Zoe at the country house for unplanned work. I lived with a business owner for 23 years and I can’t tell you how many events I went to on my own, how many vacations I started, or finished, without him.
Then there is this whole idea that Henry has perfect taste and buys all the clothes, jewelry, and shoes that fit Zoe to a ‘T’. Puleezz!!! My fashionista male friends are gay and those that aren’t gay are fashionable for themselves, making suggestions to women friends but not imposing their wills. Ok, so we do find out later in the story how Henry does it but by then my interest is lost and I’m just trying to get to the end of the book.
As for Zoe, hanging about in their beautiful apartment all day doing what seems to amount to nothing. Yes, we do have some angst from Zoe about that in the story but really by the time I get to the reasons why, I’m frustrated with her. What this story reminds me is that truth is always, always the best option.