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The Temple House Vanishing

by Rachel Donohue

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue X
The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2021
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 24 member reviews
for The Temple House Vanishing
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  • Dorothy M. (Maynard, MA)
    A timeless story with a gothic location
    In her debut novel, the Temple House Vanishing, Rachel Donoghue has chosen an unusual structure for a mystery. In the prologue, one of the main characters, a woman who is apparently successful, walks to the top of her ten floor building and jumps off. It is in the story, told from the point of view of her former classmate and a journalist looking back at what happened 25 years ago, that she takes us through the why. It is difficult to talk about the plot without spoilers so I will just tell you that it revolves around what happened at an isolated girls boarding school run by nuns. The main characters are Victoria, the woman who jumped, her friend Louisa, who is a scholarship student, Mr. Lavelle, a handsome young charismatic art teacher at the school, and Helen, the head girl. As the story unfolds you see the clashes of class, the restrictions of religious practices, the toxic atmosphere created by the leading girl clique, and the dangers of handsome young teachers in a school full of girls just beginning to understand their sexuality. This was a complex and interesting read with great insight into the struggle faced by a young woman who is trying to find her way in an unfamiliar world with little support.
  • Lauren T. (Orlando, FL)
    The Temple House Vanishing
    If you are a woman who felt like an outcast in school, you will recognize the characters at the Temple House girls' school. The usual cliques are already settled in when Louisa, a scholarship student, arrives at the school. Adolescent girls can be mean, and Louisa is intelligent but socially undeveloped and is used to being known as the smart girl at her local school. She finds the rules at Temple House, official and unofficial, confusing.

    She finally becomes friendly with Victoria, a fellow student who doesn't really fit in either. Another main character is a handsome, charismatic art teacher. The story alternates between Louisa's point of view and that of a journalist who, 25 years after the events in the story, is writing a piece on the things that happened at the school then.

    We gradually learn more about Louisa's brief time at Temple House. The tension builds throughout, and at the end all is revealed. I was disappointed by some loose ends, but overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to seeing more from this author.
  • Carole P. (Natick, MA)
    Temple House Vanishing
    Temple Vanishing has an interesting plot. The mysterious disappearance of a student and a teacher. Sadly, as much as I liked the storyline, I found the book hard to follow. I often had to go back and double check who the voice was at that point in time. When I was reading, I would get pulled in, but within a few pages I would loose interest. Always a bad sign, I could never remember what I had read. I love mystery's, but I would never classify this as one. In the end it was mediocre and confusing. I never like to give a so/so review, but this time I felt I had to. I read it through to the end and was relieved it was over.
  • Colleen T. (Lakewood, CO)
    The Temple House Vanishing
    An incredibly sad and terrifying coming of age story. You have young people who are still trying to discover who they are amongst the angst of attending Catholic school, being a new student and dealing with many rules and regulations and norms of the period. There is love found and lost, betrayal, and misunderstanding due to lack of life experiences. The story gives voice to the issue of mental health issues that are not dealt with and the ensuing ending result. I found the author command of language wonderful, but I personally did not like the conclusion of the story.
  • Henry W. (Lake Barrington, IL)
    Slow March
    The story is about the reconstruction of events that took place 25 years in the past. A tenacious reporter seeks to find out what happened to two people who disappeared 25 years ago. Much of the story takes place in a private school. It is a story about class, connection, belonging, competition among the students. The plot wanders what seems aimlessly as the authors drops bits and pieces of information. The resolution is somewhat unbelievable and incomplete as never find out what happened to the second missing person. The evil protagonist is revealed in an unlikely series of events at the end. In the end a flawed plot and flawed execution.
  • Chris H. (Wauwatosa, WI)
    Temple House Vanishing
    I found this book to be a page turner! However, while it was engaging and easy to read, it was also easy to forget. I would consider this book to be for the 16-year-old age group.
  • Karen W. (Atlanta, GA)
    Disturbed people ruin each other's lives
    Even though this is billed as a murder mystery, it is more about mentally disturbed people and their bad influence on each other. The mystery takes 100 pages to occur. The author spends too much time in setting a dismal scene at a decrepit girls' school. I did not enjoy it even though I usually like atmospheric mysteries, perhaps because none of the characters are the least bit appealing or even likeable.

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