Beginning with an axe murder and ending with cold justice, this novel tells the intimate story of two marriages, in all their loneliness, cruelty and final redemption. For fans of Donna Tartt, with the most nuanced portrait of a psychopath since Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley
'Ghosts, murder, a terrifying psychotic who seems normal, and beautiful writing. Loved it' Stephen King
'What, at first, seems to be a crime novel is much more . . . Not so much a whodunnit as a whydunnit' Fanny Blake, Daily Mail
'Can make you gasp in astonishment or break your heart with a single line' Wall St Journal
Upstate New York, 1980s
The farm stood at the foot of the hill. Around it, an aching emptiness of fields and wind. Within, a weight, a sense of being occupied, with more than its inhabitants.
The Clares got it cheap. George knew why, though he didn't let on - he didn't want to give Catherine any excuses. He'd given her an easy excuse to get married. He wasn't prepared to give away much more.
Catherine, at home with their young daughter, has the feeling they're not alone. She is helped by the Hale boys, young Cole and his brothers. Though they never tell her what happened to their mother in this house.
As the seasons burn and then bite, the Clares will find their place in this small upstate community. George, the inscrutable professor; his beautiful, brittle wife. He will try to tame the hollow need inside him. She will pull strength from the friends she makes. But as their marriage splinters, so too does the border between sanity and rage; between this world, and the inexplicable beyond.
With masterful tension and understanding of human nature, Elizabeth Brundage has crafted a novel that is at once a community's landscape spanning twenty years and an intimate portrait of a disturbed mind. This is new American fiction at its most piercing, ambitious and chilling.
Elizabeth Brundage graduated from Hampshire College, attended the NYU film school, was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, and received an M.F.A. as well as a James Michener Award from the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop. She has taught at a variety of colleges and universities, most recently at Skidmore College as a visiting writer in residence. She lives near Albany in upstate New York.
Brundage's brilliant new novel is as terrifyingly unsettling-and as beautiful-as cracking ice over a raging river. Part murder mystery, part ghost story, it's also a profound look at how past guilt informs the present, how what we yearn for is not always what we get, and how it's not only houses that can be haunted, but people as well. One of the most ambitious, original and gorgeously written novels that I've ever read-and been unable to forget. — Caroline Leavitt
All Things Cease to Appear is a riveting ghost story, psychological thriller, and literary page turner. It's also the story of four women: Ella, Catherine, Justine, and Willis. With masterful skill and brilliant empathy, Brundage brings each of them to vivid and remarkable life. At its heart, this is a story about women's grit and courage, will and intelligence. It's a powerful and beautiful novel — Kate Christensen
At once high art and a spellbinding thriller, this is a book of many wonders, including a character as creepily sinister as any created by Patricia Highsmith — Beverly Lowry
A dynamic portrait of a young woman coming into her own [and] of a marriage in free fall. . . . It rises to [great] literary heights and promises a soaring mix of mysticism — Booklist
Brundage's searing, intricate novel epitomizes the best of the literary thriller, marrying gripping drama with impeccably crafted prose, characterizations, and imagery . . . Succeeding as murder mystery, ghost tale, family drama, and love story, her novel is both tragic and transcendent — Publisher's Weekly
I bloody loved this. I could have taken weeks over it, lingering on the harmony and beauty of her language and the creeping delicacy of what was going on - but the plot and the people pull you in. It's an iceberg in disguise. Beneath the daisies and farmhouses, the drinks parties and local dramas something grand, tense and terrifying is shifting, between men and women, between townies and newcomers, between adults and children. And then a crack shoots through - unexpected light, the clarity of hatred, inevitability . . . A lot of people will be getting this for their birthdays this year. — Louisa Young
Superb . . . think a more literary, and feminist, Gone Girl. As the seemingly perfect marriage at its core reminds us, the most lethal deceptions are the stories we tell ourselves — Vogue
A book as lyrically written, frequently shocking and immensely moving as Elizabeth Brundage's All Things Cease to Appear transcends categorization . . . Reading this book is at once wrenching and exhilarating thanks to Ms. Brundage's prose, which can make you gasp in astonishment or break your heart with a single line — Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
Ghosts, murder, a terrifying psychotic who seems normal, and beautiful writing. Loved it — Stephen King
What, at first, seems to be a crime novel is much more, working on several levels. It's the painful story of a marriage that should never have happened . . . Furthermore, it's a chilling portrait of a pyschopathic killer. Not so much a whodunnit as a whydunnit, this richly imagined, sprawling novel contains scalpel-sharp dissections of the characters and their increasingly complex relationships — Fanny Blake, Daily Mail
Haunting . . . Brundage exposes the mind of the killer in slow and forensic detail — Joan Smith, Sunday Times
A portrait of a dysfunctional marriage with supernatural shadowing . . . so beautifully written, so full of neat observations and telling details — John O'Connell, Guardian
Mesmerising . . . This isn't a whodunit - the mystery's easy enough to solve. Instead, it's a psychological portrait of a whole community . . . [the] novel is compelling, as coldly beautiful as it is unsettling. It's haunting, in the best possibly way — Sarah Dobbs, Crime Scene
If I could choose just one thriller from all that I have read this year to recommend as a Christmas present for a friend, it would be All Things Cease to Appear. This remarkable novel, an utterly compelling tale that is part supernatural ghost story, part acutely observed psychological thriller and part gripping family saga — Myles McWeeney, Irish Independent