About Efrem Sigel

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Recent readings by Efrem were at Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, Great Barrington, MA., New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY and Jefferson Market Library, Greenwich Village, New York City, Evanston Public Library, Evanston,  IL, and  Emanuel Congregation, Chicago, IL

Coming this month:
Congregation Beth Sholom, San Francisco (Nov. 12), San Mateo, CA Public Libary (Nov. 14), Congregation Sinai, San Jose, CA (Nov. 15), Saratoga, CA Public Library (Nov. 16) and Peninsula JCC, Foster City, CA (Nov. 17)


Click on To Order to see

dates, times and places for

these readings.



When Joshua and Nathalie Sandler's only child, 14-year-old Daniel, disappears one flawless summer day in a tiny hamlet in western Massachusetts, their world changes in an instant. Over the next year, Joshua neglects everything else to search for their son while Nathalie, a beautiful and gifted cellist, withdraws into herself, unable to play even a note of music.

The Disappearance immerses us in the Sandlers' world, deftly portraying the various townspeople who might be involved in this mystery, among them a mean-spirited local town leader, half a dozen troubled teenagers, and a dark-haired, passionate young woman who is drawn to Joshua and his plight.


       People Magazine gives The Disappearance 3 1/2 stars in a review in its Feb. 9

       issue.  It writes: "One idyllic summer day, Joshua and Nathalie Sandler return from

       an errand in their Massachusetts hamlet to find their home empty: Their son    

       Daniel, almost 14, has vanished.  As anxious hours become hellish days and weeks,

       Nathalie, a cellist, withdraws while Joshua obsessed over suspects. Mystery turns

       the pages but it's Sigel's insights into the manifestations of grief that elevate
       this above most kids-gone-missing tales."


       Publisher’s Weekly, Bible of the bookselling industry, hails The Disappearance as    

       “powerful…elegantly crafted…subtle and probing.” (review, December 8, 2008)


        Booklist (American Library Assn.) calls it "gripping, emotional and tender...a  
        story about real people in real
situations, written in lean and efficient prose in 

        which every word has a precise function and there are no wasted or unnecessary

        words.  The novel has a deep emotional core that will resonate with any reader." 

        (review, Jan. 1, 2009)
        The Indie Next program from the American Booksellers Assn. has named

        The Disappearance a Notable Selection for independent bookstores.


        The Disappearance is now available as an audiobook from amazon.com,  

         barnesandnoble.com and  booksellers.     



With lyrical prose and suspense that builds inexorably toward a resolution, The Disappearance portrays the anguish of parents as they struggle to continue their lives, to discover what happened to their son and to learn, finally, whether a marriage that has come apart piece by piece can ever be made whole again.  

The disappearance of a beloved child is every parent
's nightmare, but in The Disappearance Efrem Sigel has written a book not about tragedy but about love and redemption, or in the words of Nathalie Sandler, one of the book's two main characters, about "life enlarged, about humans engaged in the heroic, death-defying acts of everyday existence."


What Readers Say About The Disappearance


"A wonderful novel—profoundly imagined, beautifully written, filled with people we recognize and care about, suffused with the sadness of everyday life, streaked with moments of compassion and even joy.  A remarkable achievement."
--Max Byrd, author of  Shooting the Sun and other historical novels.

“Powerful and elegantly crafted…A subtle and probing look at the consequences of
a tragedy.”—Publisher’s Weekly

"Sigel’s novel isn’t so much about the search for a missing boy as it is about the effects of the disappearance on the boy’s parents: Joshua, his father, who spends nearly every waking hour looking for his son, and Nathalie, his mother, who
withdraws ever deeper within herself. The story takes place over the course of
about a year (with occasional flashbacks to the pre-disappearance family), and it is
gripping, emotional and tender...the kind of novel that Avery Corman does so well: a story about real people in real situations, written in lean and efficient prose in which every word has a precise function and there are no wasted or unnecessary words.  Sigel is clearly a talented storyteller and the novel has a deep emotional core that
will resonate with any reader."--Booklist

 "In The Disappearance, Efrem Sigel has created an old-fashioned novel--in the best sense: fully invested in character and story, and written with the ease and authority that were the hallmark of fiction when the novel was at the forefront of our culture. 
--Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love, Waking the Dead and
A Ship Made of Paper.

 "Efrem Sigel does much more than chronicle a father's frantic search for his teenage son. With sensitivity and grace, he charts the range of emotions that this crisis triggers, revealing the inner workings of the hearts of the parents and the darker side of life in their seemingly idyllic summer home in Western Massachusetts. A taut, highly-charged drama, filled with both nightmares and dreams."

—Andrew Nagorski, author of The Greatest Battle, LA Times Book Prize finalist


"Compelling.  Efrem Sigel confronts a parent's darkest fear—the mysterious disappearance of a beloved child.  Tautly told, permeated with suspense, The Disappearance captures the cadence of life in a small town riven by social divide and exposes both the frailties and strengths of a complex marriage."
—Gloria Goldreich, author of the acclaimed Leah's Journey and 14 other novels.


    "From the first paragraph of lush, gorgeous prose, in which Sigel describes Joshua         running toward the light in The Hollow, I knew this would be a heartbreaking, yet         uplifting book.  The title is a bit misleading, as the mystery behind the                          disappearance of 14-year-old Dan Sandler plays second fiddle to its aftermath

    in the lives of his parents, Joshua and Nathalie.  Flawless pacing made The          

    Disappearance extremely difficult to put down.  I'm normally resigned to reading

    in fits and starts, but I desperately wanted to shut myself in my room and read

    this book in one go.  The struggle of parents following a child's death or   

    disappearance is a story that's been told a thousand times, but Sigel's portrayal is  

    fresh and realistic, and Nathalie and Josh are shown so clearly that their        

    agony is almost unbearable. 


    "The small town is drawn beautifully. The police chief, Sammons, is not the usual     

    bumbling hick portrayed in small-town law enforcement. He is thorough and

    determined, and most importantly, he cares deeply and never gives up on finding  

    answers for the Sandlers. Information about the townspeople is dribbled out in a

    realistic, non-intrusive fashion. Coupled with Sigel's gift for description, this makes for

    a richly nuanced image of The Hollow and its inhabitants. In The Disappearance,

    Efrem Sigel has crafted a haunting, beautiful novel of tragedy's aftermath, with  

    deeply human characters and a satisfying resolution."

    —Allison Campbell, review in www.LibraryThing.com



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