48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister
Novels,  Repeat Authors

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister  

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister is the latest novel to be checked off my to be read list. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite authors. I’ve been reading her novels since I was in high school. 

“How does a person of interest become a suspect?” 

Joyce Carol Oates, 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister

One of my goals is to read and review every novel she has ever written. It might take me a while, but I’m slowly checking them off the list! Needless to say I was very excited to pick up her newest novel, 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister to read. 

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Have you read 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it! 

About 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister  

When a young woman vanishes, her sister must tally up the clues to discover her fate in a twisty and unsettling new mystery from “America’s preeminent fiction writer” (The New Yorker).

Marguerite, a beautiful woman, has disappeared from her small town in Upstate New York. But is foul play involved? Or did she merely take an opportunity to get away for fun, or finally make the decision to leave behind her claustrophobic life of limited opportunities?

Her younger sister Gigi wonders if the flimsy silk Dior dress, so casually abandoned on the floor, is a clue to Marguerite’s having seemingly vanished. The police examine the footprints made by her Ferragamo boots leaving the house, ending abruptly, and puzzle over how that can help lead to her. Gigi, not so pretty as her sister, slowly reveals her hatred for the perfect, much-loved, Marguerite.

Bit by bit, like ripping the petals off a flower blossom, revelations about both sisters are uncovered. And subtly, but with the unbearable suspense at which Joyce Carol Oates excels, clues mount up to bring to light the fate of the missing beauty. 

Thoughts on 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister 

One of the things I’ve always admired about Joyce Carol Oates is her ability to take something we all know and have heard about and turn it into a great story, and this was certainly no exception. In this case, a woman went missing. Which is something I don’t think is taken seriously nearly enough in real life. 

This is told in a memoir style, although it is completely fictional. It isn’t just the story of a woman going missing, it is the story of another woman’s character. 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister delves into the lives of two sisters: Marguerite Fulmer, age 30, and Georgene, age 24, commonly referred to as simply M and G. 

It is clear that Georgene isn’t the most mentally stable person, and has an abrasive personality. Her hatred for her older, much prettier, and far more talented and exciting sister is revealed as the book goes on. The book follows her over a 20 year period from when her sister goes missing. I love the layers that are slowly revealed about each woman. The character development is incredible. 

This story reminds me a lot of Black Water, in that it is written in the same style. Through memories and thoughts instead of chronological order, which are often slightly random and not in any particular order. It is a very typical style that is unique to Joyce Carol Oates. 

The beginning of the book is a bit slow, and it took me a few pages to really get into it. But once I did, I just wanted to keep reading until I was done. It was easy to devour this story, as it kept me intrigued all the way through. 

Final Thoughts on 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister  

If you are already a fan of Joyce Carol Oates, you will love 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, and I highly recommend you pick it up. If you are new to her writing, I would recommend starting with something a bit different. Joyce Carol Oates has a unique writing style that you may need to get accustomed to if you’re a first time reader of her writing. 

When I finished reading 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, I went to read reviews from others, and it sounds like many new readers have struggled with her writing style. If that may be you, give We Were the Mulvaneys a try instead, or My Life as a Rat is another one you would likely enjoy more. 

I loved the book, but I’ve also been a Joyce Carol Oates fan for many years now, and 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister certainly did not disappoint! Now I just need to go find my next great Joyce Carol Oates novel to read and keep checking them off my list. 

Discussion 

Have you read 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, or any other writing from bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates? Are you a fan? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

About the Author 

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister
Joyce Carol Oates, author of 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 70 books, including novels, short story collections, poetry volumes, plays, essays, and criticism, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde. 

Among her many honors are the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and the National Book Award. Oates is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University, and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. 

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister
48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister author Joyce Carol Oates

Purchasing 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister  

If you are interested in buying the hardcover version of 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister, click here.

Click here for the Kindle version.

Click here for my favorite Kindle I currently own.

More from Joyce Carol Oates 

Did you enjoy my review of 48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister? Need another great Joyce Carol Oates novel to read? Here are my favorites! 

We Were the Mulvaneys 

Black Water 

My Life as a Rat 

American Melancholy 

The Rise of Life on Earth 

Zombie 

Butcher

Hazards of Time Travel

Extenuating Circumstances

Evil Eye

Amazon Notice 

The Reading Wife is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, at no added cost to you.

48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister
48 Clues into the Disappearance of My Sister

2 Comments

  • Helen

    I am a fan and I loved this book though it messed with my head. Was it all in georgene’s head? Did her sister actually disappear? How did she have a nephew if there were only 2 siblings? This nephew quietly dropped into the story driving her to the polytechnic to see one of Ms exes is what leads me to think maybe the whole story was wishful thinking?
    Helen

    • The Reading Wife

      Helen, this story was left deliberately ambiguous by Joyce Carol Oates in so many ways, and I find it frustrating! I am not sure if that was her goal or not, but it still keeps me guessing and thinking about it all.

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