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. BUY HERE!
~I was sent a copy from the publishers, this in no way affects my opinion~
I give it - 5/5
My review - This is the first book I have read by Clare and it won't be the last. This was such a beautiful book that I shed a few tears whilst reading it, it was just wonderful!
In this story we follow Hattie. Hattie has just found out that she is pregnant by her best friend Reuben, who is currently in France living it up with partying, drinking and a lot of girls.
Hattie has no idea what to do in her situation, her best friend Kat is away with her girlfriend Zoe and her mum is busy working and trying to plan her wedding to her fiancé Carl, then one day she get's a phone call asking her to come visit her great auntie Gloria who has dementia and they think she won't have long left, so with everything going on Hattie decides to go visit her. She want's to know about Gloria and find out why she never knew about her grandmother's sister. They clash when they first meet but after a few more meetings they decided to go on a road trip of Gloria's favourite memories.
What I really loved about this story was that not only did we get chapters from Hattie but also from Gloria, her memories from when she was younger and too also face her past. What Hattie doesn't realise is how much she has in common with Gloria and the road trip will bring everything to light.
This was such a beautiful read. I really loved the character of Hattie. She has to deal with a lot of stuff for a teenager and adding pregnant into the mix doesn't really make things better, but she is a really strong character, I loved seeing her character develop throughout the story and becoming a strong woman. She has such a great relationship with most of the characters in this book and I really enjoyed reading about her.
Gloria was such an interesting character to read about. Yes she has dementia but she doesn't let that stop her, she is very independent and likes to drink throughout the day but as you get further into the book you see that she is hiding quite a few things and when reading about her past I couldn't help but tear up.
Then we have Hattie's two friends. Kat who is away with her girlfriend Zoe. I really liked Kat, even though we didn't read a lot about her in the book you could tell she really cared for Hattie and wanted to help her through this time. Reuben is a different character, he is a free spirit and seems to go through a lot of girls and only really cares for himself. There was a part of me, hoping, that he would change his ways, but I'm glad Clare wrote the ending like she did, it felt more real!
This book was just fantastic and defiantly one of my favourite books! Clare has a really great writing style that I was hooked from the very beginning and I didn't stop reading until the very end, if you're going to read one book this year then I recommend HOW NOT TO DISAPPEAR as you won't be disappointed!