The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

'We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song and when one came back, she wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with.'So begins Tikka Molloy's recounting of the summer of 1992 - the summer the Van Apfel sisters, Hannah, the beautiful Cordelia and Ruth - disappear.Eleven and one-sixth years old, Tikka is the precocious narrator of this fabulously endearing coming-of-age story, set i...

Details The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

TitleThe Van Apfel Girls Are Gone
Release DateApr 1st, 2019
PublisherHarperCollins Publishers Australia
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

  • karen
    look who came all the way from australia and braved a biblical downpour just to sign books for our book club! They had six femurs, ninety-nine vertebrae, three skulls and thirty fingernails. Six kneecaps, forty-eight carpal bones, and more than three million strands of blonde hair, all tinged alien-green by the chlorine in their pool which, up until the day they went missing, wed swum in almost every single day that summer.And yet all of these th...
  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    3.5 Stars!The Van Apfel girls grew up with an extremely strict religious father.Tikka Molloy can't forget the summer of 1992. It was the summer that the Van Apfel sisters disappeared, all three of them. The story is set in Australia, in an eerie river valley suburb with an awful unexplained smell. The night of the Showstopper concert by the river was the night that the Van Apfel girls disappeared. They vanished without a trace. This was a very sa...
  • Liz
    My initial impression of this book was quirky. Tikka returns home from Baltimore to the suburbs outside Sidney, Australia. The trip brings on an onslaught of memories from the year shes 11, the year her neighborhood friends, three sisters, disappear. And whats apparent and obvious to an adult is not to an eleven year old. So her impressions are just a tad off, leading to a slightly offbeat telling. And the secondary characters are not your averag...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    This was a different sort of mystery crossed with coming-of-age, and I loved it! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Tikka Malloys playmates, the Van Apfel sisters, disappeared when she was eleven years old. Its a mystery haunting her and her sister, Laura, for years. Ruth, Hannah, and Cordelia have harsh, religious parents, and its never been known if they ran away or were taken. Tikka has now returned home as an adult to try to grasp just what happened to the sis...
  • Michelle
    This book is so rich and lush in atmosphere. I could feel the heat wave of this Australian summer as the hot sun kissed my skin. I could hear the birds chirping and the insects buzzing and I almost felt as if I was walking hand in hand with Tikka as she told me the story about the Van Apfel girls. "We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song, and when one came back, she wasn't the one we we...
  • Suzanne
    To me, this darkly themed story had a slight literary fiction feel, and I dont love that genre. In saying that, I was okay with it. Set in the early 1990s, this tale of three sisters who simply go missing on the night of the school concert, leaves the reader with a lot of pondering to do. Full of Aussie colloquialisms, and extremely well told, we witness the young Van Apfel sisters, bought up in a disturbingly warped religious household. Tikka (I...
  • Carolyn
    On the night of a school concert in an ordinary 1990s Australian suburb, the three van Apfel girls disappeared. Hannah 14, Cordelia (Cordie) 13 and Ruth, 7. Despite extensive searches, only one of them is ever found. Twenty years later their neighbour and friend Tikka Molloy returns home to visit her parents and older sister Laura and relates the events that led up to the girls' disappearance through her then 11 year old understanding as well as ...
  • Phrynne
    Now here's a strange thing. I usually complain when a book finishes without telling me what happened to everyone. Yet the ending of this one, although there was no resolution, was perfect for the story that it told. Maybe because I related it in my mind to the three Beaumont siblings who really did disappear from an Australian beach more than 50 years ago now and still have not been found. No resolution to their story either!The author creates th...
  • Larry H
    If you're looking for a mysterious, quirky book that may leave you with more questions than answers, Felicity McLean's The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone may be just the ticket for you!"We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of dome half-remembered song, and when one came back, she wasn't the one we were trying to recall to begin with."In the summer of 1992, Tikka Malloy and her older sister, Laura, were living in a su...
  • Marchpane
    The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone is well written, easy to read, easily devoured in an afternoon. Its slick, but conventional: its too easy to see the film adaptation playing out in your head. Set mostly in 1992, theres plenty of nostalgia for Gen X Aussies (sunnyboys by the pool; a slumber party complete with half-arsed séance; hearing about the Azaria Chamberlain case in the news). The child narrator is endearing, and the author really seems to ge...
  • Bren
    We thought we'd seen the worst when those girls disappeared, but seeing, and not seeing, is a funny old thing. Even now, I don't know which is crueller in the end. Felicity McLean, The Van Apfel Girls Are GoneI am realizing maybe I should not pick books from the library or the book store if I am on limited time to browse.I am trying to save money so that is why I am doing t his but in the process I am picking books that are not a fit for me at a...
  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    *https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.comThen she said the words Id been waiting to hear: Dont you know? The Van Apfel girls are gone.Felicity McLean may have just released her first debut novel, but she is no stranger to the written word. She has carved out a career as a respected ghost writer, a childrens book author and a journalist. This previous experience has put McLean in good standing. The Van Apfel Girls are Gone is assured, refined and inc...
  • Kelli
    I cant put my finger on the why of it, but this book took me forever to finish. The more I read, the more I appreciated the skill with which the author crafted the childhood summer slowly rolling along and the intricacies of the relationships between the girls, who were neighbors and friends. Those atmospheric entities felt like characters in this hazy, out-of-reach mystery that might make you wonder if the answer is there within the pages once y...
  • Dannii Elle
    The Van Apfel girls are all blonde-haired, green tinged from the chlorinated waters of their backyard swimming pool, long-limbed, a sun-kissed brown from the relentless Australian sunshine, and, mostly importantly, all missing. One night the three sisters disappeared. One returned, but not the one they were hoping for, but the mystery of where they went and why remained.The narrative is split between past and present sections and I appreciated ho...
  • Michael
    The title of this debut novel could not be more descriptive of the story if it tried. But far from being a work of crime fiction or an edge of your seat thriller, this is more of psychological look at those left behind. In this case, we experience the incident through Tikka who twenty years earlier along with her older sister Laura was friends with neighbors, the Van Apfel girls Hannah, Cordelia and Ruth. Back in Australia after flying in from Ba...
  • Susan
    Tikka returns to Australia, from her new life in Baltimore, as her sister, Laura, has cancer. Returning home triggers all sorts of memories and, for Tikka, it throws her back twenty years, to when she was eleven and Laura was fourteen. Their neighbours were the Van Apfel girls Hannah, who was Lauras confidante, thirteen year old Cordelia, who Tikka looked up to, and six year old Ruth.The summer was unbearably hot and the televisions were full of...
  • ☮Karen
    3.5 stars rounded up.They keep coming out with these titles containing the words Gone and Girls, and I am still a sucker for them. Add a pink cover, and I snapped this up from Chirp as soon as they had a $.99 sale. It's description as part mystery, part coming-of-age is right up my alley; and the Australian narrator's accent is authentic.The Van Apfel Girls -- Hannah, Cordelia, and little Ruth -- were neighbors of the Malloy girls, Tikka and Laur...
  • Roman Clodia
    This feels like a mash-up of books and tropes that have all been done before, and better: the edgy adolescence of girls (Megan Abbott), the unsolved mysterious disappearance of Australian girls (Picnic at Hanging Rock), the violent Christian fundamentalist father and subservient wife, the mysterious and creepy new male teacher who may or may not like boys and may or may not have been in prison...The narrative feels fussy to me: the 1st person voi...
  • Arlene
    More words than there was solid story. Too many questions left unanswered.(view spoiler)[ Whatever did happen to the girls? Why did Mr Avery hang himself? Why didnt the author reveal his past? Who got Cordie pregnant? What happened to Lor? (hide spoiler)] More words than there was solid story. Too many questions left unanswered.(view spoiler)[ Whatever did happen to the girls? Why did Mr Avery hang himself? Why didn’t the author reveal his pa...
  • Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews
    ** Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean. (2019).Tikka was 11 years old in 1992 when the three Van Apfel sisters disappeared during the school's concert. Years later Tikka has returned home and is trying to make sense of the summer that shaped her and the three girls she never forgot. I should have known from the synopsis on the back of the book that I would finish this book unsa...
  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    3.5 stars"We lost all three girls that summer. Let them slip away like the words of some half-remembered song." *In the summer of 1992, a quiet suburb in Australia is stunned when the three Van Apfel sisters - Hannah, Cordelia, and Ruth - disappear.  Suddenly the news is no longer focused on the infamous Azaria Chamberlain case and the community is searching the valley for any sign of the girls.Tikka Malloy was eleven the summer her friends disa...
  • Juli
    The VanApfel Girls disappeared in 1992. All 3 of them. Hannah, Ruth and Cordelia. Gone. No Trace. Never found. Tikka remembers when the girls disappeared. The mystery pulled the small Australian community together....but over time dark secrets are revealed. This story develops slowly. It's richly atmospheric and subtle....sad, disturbing and mesmerizing. I couldn't put the book down once I got into the story. At first, I was a bit confused....but...
  • Lou
    Sometimes it's the subtle thrillers that hit you the hardest, and that indeed was the case with The Van Apfel Girls are Gone. At its heart, this is a complex, multi-layered psychological family drama set in the humid heat of Sydney, Australia circa 1992 and it simply oozes tension and an ominous atmosphere runs for the whole duration. It follows three sisters as they come-of-age and their disappearance and the surrounding circumstances, as well a...
  • Anja
    2.5 starsI picked this book up, because it gave me virgin suicide vibes and I adore a good coming of age story. While this book is entertaining and a fast read, it sadly did nothing new at all. I wanted a "virgin suicide" vibe, not an almost retelling of the story. It's a good summer read, but other books have done it better in my opinion.
  • Claire
    The Van April Girls are Gone is easy reading, with a killer sense of oppressive atmosphere. That being said it was a bit too conventional for me, and I found the meandering pace frustrating at times. If youre into resolutions, this probably isnt for you. A nice way to spend a weekend anyway. The Van April Girls are Gone is easy reading, with a killer sense of oppressive atmosphere. That being said it was a bit too conventional for me, and I fou...
  • Liz Barnsley
     loved this.Beautifully atmospheric, a snapshot in time that is utterly gripping, The Van Apfel Girls are Gone is a tense and character driven psychological thriller in the classic sense of the word.Our narrator Tikka guides us, first through a childs eyes then through the filter of adulthood, through the friendships and drama of her youth leading up to the disappearance of three sisters. A small community searches and mourns but not all questio...
  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    We saw more of those girls after they disappeared than we ever did before.In the summer of 1992, when Tikka Malloy was eleven and one-sixth old, her three best friends the three Van Apfel sisters disappeared. Two families, living in the suburbs. Mr and Mrs Van Apfel and their daughters Hannah, Cordelia and Ruth. Mr and Mrs Malloy and their daughters Laura and Tikka (a nickname everyone seems to use). And, as Tikka remembers, the Azaria Chamberla...
  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
    3.5 🌟 This was a well written, reasonably paced read - structurally, I enjoyed the shift between the contemporary narrative and the flashbacks to the 1990s when the girls went missing. I thought the child-narrator was particularly well done, and immersed the reader in such an Australian experience of childhood in the 1990a complete with sunny boys in the garden, the Azaria Chamberlain case, and typical coming-of-age type adventure. .There were...
  • Deborah
    I requested this book belatedly after seeing it pop up in a few places. It's got one of those interesting titles and alluring covers and, though I didn't entirely know what I was going to be reading, the notion of disappearing girls seemed to be something that sat firmly in my reading comfort zone.I very much liked McLean's writing and note - though this is her first novel - she's previously ghost-written a number of books, so her prose reflect a...
  • Suzanne Flohr
    I loved the fact this book was set in Australia. I loved the 90's jargon and settings that i grew up with. I loved the characters, BUT in saying this it was a slow burner not really a thriller, and the ending was very disappointing for me . I wanted to know what happened to the girls after they did what they did not left hanging.