Three Ways to Disappear
by Katy Yocom
Ashland Creek Press

"The world would be a better place if more women were selfish."

Sarah and Quinn spend their childhood in India, where their father is a doctor. As Americans living in India, they have a household full of staff, and their mother gets to attend parties. When Quinn and her twin brother get cholera, she survives. Her twin does not. Their mother then takes the girls back to America, leaving their father in India. They each deal with their guilt and scars in their own way, each feeling alone. When Sarah decides to go back to India, each sibling must face the past to move forward. The story then shifts back and forth between Sarah’s life working at a tiger preserve in India and Quinn’s life in Kentucky.

Against the backdrop of the protagonists’ lives, the book shows how life is hard in India for both the tiger and those who live near tiger preserves. The acceptable views of marriage, honor, violence, and the caste system affect everyone in India. Forbidden love can lead to threats, violence, and even death. The difficulties women face that stem from just being female are highlighted, ranging from village women not being able to support themselves and facing domestic abuse to women in America who feel the pressure to take care of their families over chasing their dreams. Overall, the story is about family, redemption, and facing the past to overcome guilt. Everything does not get tied up in a neat little bow, but this makes the story more realistic. Sometimes the truth is needed, but it hurts. There are descriptive romance scenes, and even the mating of tigers is described. There is a twinge of fantasy toward the end, but it blends well with the Hindu idea of reincarnation in India.

A 2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Short List honoree and Best in Micro Press honoree

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home