A Mariner Paperback Original
"Mary Sharratt's The Vanishing Point is her best novel yet, a passionate, spell-casting story . . . I was unable to put this book down."
Sandra Gulland, author of the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy
"So it transpired that both people and ships could become ghosts without ever dying or sinking beneath the waves." from The Vanishing Point
Mary Sharratt's gripping new novel, The Vanishing Point (Mariner Paperback Original, June 2, 2006), weaves together the stories of two independent, spirited sisters one lost, the other searching. Sharratt's exquisite period piece, set in the seventeenth century, brings to life dramatic and mysterious events that push the limits of truth, love, and the bond between sisters.
Hannah and May Powers could not be more different. Hannah is the learned, though shy, dutiful daughter whom their widowed father treats more like a son, and May is the reckless, vibrant, beautiful spirit who pushes the boundaries of life and love. After a series of sexual misadventures in their English town, May is betrothed to a distant cousin in Maryland. When their father dies, Hannah follows May to the wilds of America, but upon arrival Hannah learns that her sister has mysteriously disappeared. But how? And why?
Alone in an untamed, uncultivated land where the old rules no longer apply, Hannah is freed from the constraints of a society that had judged both her and May as dangerous - too smart, too fearless, and too hungry for life. But Hannah's increasing fear is palpable as she struggles to understand her sister's fate, and nothing is as it seems. Torn between her devotion to May and her growing love for May's husband, Hannah must decipher the truth from the disturbing, tangled stories surrounding her sister's vanishing.
In the tradition of Philippa Gregory, Sharratt truly evokes life in early America, thanks to ten years of meticulous research on such topics as seventeenth-century pharmacology and pioneer cooking. Equal parts adventure, love story, and dark mystery, The Vanishing Point is a hauntingly vivid novel that will leave you in suspense until the final pages.
Mary Sharratt's first novel, Summit Avenue, was a Book Sense selection.
She has taught at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and has given workshops around the country on the subject of women and fairy tales.
She lives in Lancashire, England.