Review: How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss

Challenge criteria: A book with characters who are twins


Our memories are what make us who we are. Some are real. Some are made up. But they are the stories that tell us who we are. Without them we are nobody.

Hattie’s summer isn’t going as planned. Her two best friends have abandoned her: Reuben has run off to Europe to ‘find himself” and Kat is in Edinburgh with her new girlfriend. Meanwhile Hattie is stuck babysitting her twin siblings and dealing with endless drama around her mum’s wedding. Oh, and she’s also just discovered that she’s pregnant with Reuben’s baby.

Then Gloria, Hattie’s great-aunt who no one even knew existed, comes crashing into her life. Gloria’s fiercely independent, rather too fond of a gin sling and is in the early stages of dementia. Together the two of them set out on a road trip of self-discovery — Gloria to finally confront the secrets of her past before they are erased from her memory forever and Hattie to face the hard choices that will determine her future.

Non Pratt’s Trouble meets Thelma and Louise with a touch of Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey, Clare Furniss’ remarkable How Not To Disappear is an emotional rollercoaster of a novel that will make you laugh and break your heart.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

I love a teenage pregnancy trope. I could read books about teen pregnancies until I my head spun. I really enjoyed this one. I did feel Hattie and her concerns that telling her family about the baby would mess up everything. It’s a very realistic concern when you’re 15 and pregnant. Hattie is such a strong character and I loved every minute of reading her journey.

I am not a big fan of children in real life, but Hattie’s twin siblings absolutely stole the show. On the other side of the age spectrum, Gloria was a hoot. I would have loved to have been on that road trip with the two women. You wouldn’t have a moment’s peace, but it would make some great memories.

What I didn’t like:

A lot of the flashback’s to Gloria’s youth feature quite racist language and scenes of domestic violence. I wasn’t particularly a fan of that.

Out of five?

Four. This was my first time reading Claire Furniss’ work, but it certainly won’t be my last.

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