Book – The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman

Author – Mamen Sanchez

Pages – 298

Year – 2015

Genre – Fiction

Borrowed from Dartford Library

Atticus Craftsman comes from a long line of wealthy men in the publishing industry, all of whom are named after leading characters in classic novels. When his father sends him to Spain to close down a less than profitable literary magazine that their company operates, he is not prepared for the five women who work there to be ready for him with a scheme to make sure that their precious publication is spared the chop. What follows is a story told from the point of view of several different people, including Atticus’ parents, the women at the magazine, a local policeman, and many more telling the story of how an Englishman with a penchant for Twining’s Earl Grey tea can disappear and yet not be gone.

I absolutely had no idea what to expect when I started reading this, having selected it based on some cute graphics and an enticing blurb. What I received was a charming little book with some incredibly well rounded and believable characters, despite the whole thing having an almost absurdist story to surround it. The pace is kept high, the characters warm, and a sense of Spain that – having not been there – I can only assume does the country justice.

Sanchez is a deputy editor at a Hello style magazine in Spain, and this comes across in the writing, but this is by no means to say that there is anything trashy about the book. Instead it really brought me in for a nice little journey in the way that some books do, whereby I simultaneously do not think that it was life changing at all, but will certainly linger in my mind for a long time to come. A slightly too long ending is probably the only criticism that I have here at all, but a small issue for what is an otherwise very enjoyable read.