cover image Brooklyn Thomas Isn’t Here

Brooklyn Thomas Isn’t Here

Alli Vail. Post Hill, $18.99 trade paper (312p) ISBN 979-8-88845-289-9

A depressed 29-year-old starts to physically disappear in Vail’s witty and poignant debut. After losing her job as the communications director of a Vancouver marketing firm, Brooklyn moves into her parents’ basement and begins pulling shifts at an artisanal doughnut shop. Then she learns that her best friend, international aid worker Penny Parker, has vanished while working in Syria. As if that weren’t enough, Brooklyn is also back in the orbit of her physically abusive brother; her mom ignores all evidence of her brother’s abuse; and she’s developed a crush on a doughnut shop regular who already has a girlfriend. Before long, Brooklyn feels her heartbeat slowing down and notices that her reflection isn’t showing up in mirrors. Worried that she might be dying, Brooklyn is visited by the ghost of actor Emaleigh Porter, who starred in some of her favorite childhood TV shows. Emaleigh’s wisdom, coupled with Brooklyn’s fitful pursuit of her doughnut shop regular, helps bring her back to life. Vail’s subtle touches of magical realism enrich her insights about the difficulties of young womanhood without overwhelming them. This has charm to spare. Agent: Haley Casey, Creative Media. (May)