The Year She Disappeared

a novel by Ann Harleman

“This sophisticated damsel-in-distress tale stars sexy 60-year-old widow Nan Mulholland…a perceptive, witty, and self-involved protagonist. Harleman’s wry humor and vivid descriptions are in play throughout.”
– Publisher’s Weekly

“A contemporary suspense thriller, complete with kidnapping, chase scenes, changed identities, a high-profile court case, a jailbreak, and a love story. Yet there’s nothing typical about any of these elements….The novel’s action moves between Nan’s present and past, creating a rich portrait of a woman who jettisons her daughter’s plan in favor of her own navigational instinct.”
– The Boston Globe

It was her sixtieth year to heaven—the eighth of December, 1998—and Nan Mulholland had never expected to spend it on the lam.

Nan and her four-year-old granddaughter Jane are taking their first airplane trip together, flying from Seattle to the East Coast. But this is no ordinary excursion. Nan is abducting Jane.

Nan’s own daughter, Alex, believes Jane’s father has been sexually abusing her, and she’s asked Nan to take her away, to hide her. Just for a few weeks, Alex promises. Just until she can manage to leave her husband, a charismatic and well-respected surgeon, and get temporary custody of Jane. And Nan, believing in her always well-organized daughter’s plan, agrees.

But when she and Jane arrive in Providence, things begin to go wrong. The old friend whom Nan expected to stay with has vanished. Her son-in-law is on her trail. And Alex disappears. Nan is stranded in a strange city, without friends or money or even her own identity, in sole charge of a very unhappy little girl.

“I’m too old for this!” Nan thinks, in furious, self-pitying despair. The Year She Disappeared explores the possibility—and the price—of late blooming. Will the trials Nan faces during her year on the lam break her? Or will she discover who she really is? This outside-the-box adventure story breaks all the rules, mixing laughter and tears, lacing peril with romance, defying assumptions about age, race, and gender.

Read an Excerpt

Purchase The Year She Disappeared