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How Not to Disappear

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Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2017 and longlisted for the 2017 CILIP Carnegie Medal, this novel will make you laugh and break your heart.

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.

'Funny, moving and packed with characters that jump off the page' Lisa Williamson, author of The Art of Being Normal
'Absolutely gorgeous, heartfelt and incredibly enjoyable' Robin Stevens, author of Lady Most Unladylike 
'Funny, sharply observed, shocking and wonderful' Sunday Times Children's book of the week
'A beautifully executed story... gloriously funny, deeply emotional and a triumph' Daily Mail

Photo courtesy of Lou Abercrombie

Clare Furniss grew up in London and moved to Birmingham in her teens. After brief stints as a waitress, shop assistant and working at the Shakespeare Centre Library, she studied at Cambridge University and worked for several years in political media relations. She now lives in Bath and has completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Clare's novels have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Branford Boase, CILIP Carnegie and The Bookseller YA Bookprize. You can follow her on Twitter @clarefurniss and find out more information on her website www.clarefurniss.com.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK (January 28, 2016)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781471120329
  • Ages: 14 - 99

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Emotional, moving and thought provoking, and I loved it.

– The Sun

This isn't the first YA novel to incorporate dementia as a plot device, but it's gloriously funny, deeply emotional and a triumph.

– Sally Morris, Daily Mail

This novel, encompassing violence to women, changing attitudes to unmarried mothers, and many kinds of love, is funny, sharply observed, shocking and wonderful.

– Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times

Hattie and Gloria are such fantastic central characters. What a lovely, lovely book!

– Lisa Williamson, author of The Art of Being Normal

An absolutely gorgeous, heartfelt and incredibly enjoyable follow up to The Year of the Rat ... Clare writes about serious subjects lightly but with real feeling, and conveys family relationships so well.

– Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike

I enjoyed the honesty of it and the way in which sadness and joy are presented as two sides of the same coin. I enjoyed the acknowledgement that love doesn't always conquer all . . . But mostly I enjoyed the growing relationship between two women, one looking back over a life and one looking towards a life yet to come. Recommended.

– The Bookbag

A really heartfelt book which has a lot to say about family and its importance. I thoroughly recommend it.

– Kirsty, The Overflowing Library, Goodreads

Just as emotional, warm and life-affirming as Clare Furniss’ debut, The Year of the Rat . . . subtle but powerful . . . How Not to Disappear is another beautiful novel from Clare Furniss. It talks of love, family and the defining nature of memories in a way that is completely pitch-perfect.

– So Many Books, So Little Time

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