Review – All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

Posted March 11, 2022 by Carole in Reviews / 18 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth BrundageAll Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on March 8, 2016
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Length: 14 hours 19 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

"This literary thriller's complex narrative involves a cursed house, an unsolved murder and impeccable writing." --The New York Times Book Review - The basis for the Netflix film Things Heard and Seen

Recent transplants to the small town of Chosen, New York, the Clares have not received the warmest welcome; once a thriving dairy farm, their home is haunted by the tragedy that left the former owner's three sons orphaned and adrift.

Late one winter afternoon, professor George Clare knocks on his neighbor's door with terrible news: he returned from work to find his wife, Catherine, murdered in their bed. Someone took an ax to her head while their three-year-old daughter, Franny, played alone in her room across the hall.

As one dark secret peels away to reveal others--and as the Clare marriage reveals itself to have a sinister darkness that rivals the farm's history--Elizabeth Brundage offers a rich and complex portrait of the scars that can haunt a community for generations and the dark longings inside each and every one of us that drive us to do inexplicable things.

I liked this book. I have had this book on my digital shelves for quite a while and I decided that it was finally time to give it a try. I was intrigued by the story from the start. Everything that I thought I knew at the start of the story was quickly put into doubt. I found this book to be hard to put aside at times and I am glad that I finally decided to fie it a go.

Catherine is found dead in her home having been savagely murdered while her small child is in the house. We then move back in time to Catherine and George’s life before the murder. It soon becomes evident who is most likely responsible for Catherine’s death. The home that they moved into was once the home of a local family, the Hale family. The mother and father of the Hale boys both died in the home so it was interesting to see the Hale children come to work for Catherine and George and create ties beyond that of the house. The book spans a broad period of time and touches on not just the Clare and Hale families but many other members of the community. 

I felt like this book was not so much a mystery of who did it but of how it actually happened. I liked Catherine a lot and I hated knowing what would eventually happen to her. This was not a feel-good book. Terrible things happen to some pretty good people and there were times that it was hard to think about.

Kirsten Potter did an amazing job with the narration. It was easy to lose myself in this story because she really brought the story to life. I liked the different voices that she used for the cast of characters. There were some scenes of the book that were intense and others that were heartbreaking and I thought that she handled everything very well.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well-written story that kept me glued to my headphones. I would not hesitate to read more of this author’s work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.

18 responses to “Review – All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage

  1. Great review Carole but I have read a book where a character I liked died but she wasn’t brutally murdered so I don’t know but it sounds good

  2. This was such a wonderful review. I am so happy that this book was such a win for you here. It can be rough to see characters go through such hard times. A great narrator can make all the difference.