Lindy is hearing voices. And her new religious friends claim Quincy, her wife of six years, is Satan in disguise. They also say her marriage is a sin and warn she and their two daughters will burn in hell for eternity if she doesn’t leave Quincy.
Working a second job to earn enough to buy their dream house, Quincy is rarely around to notice Lindy’s behavior. By the time she does notice, Lindy’s new friends spirit her and the girls away to an isolated religious community in Arizona.
While Quincy searches frantically for her family, a female doctor at the community treats Lindy. As she slowly returns to herself Lindy begins to really see the community. She is horrified. Rather than saving herself and her daughters, she’s brought them to a kind of hell.
Then Lindy is given an ultimatum. Stay and marry a man in the community. Or leave. Without her daughters.
She panics. There must be another way.
GCLS Goldie Awards
The Disappearance of Lindy James — Winner, General Fiction.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller, a lesbian couple. In 2000 after passage of civil union legislation in Vermont, they entered a civil union and changed their surnames to Miller-Jenkins. In 2002 Lisa gave birth to their daughter (conceived by artificial insemination) and they named her Isabella Miller-Jenkins.
In 2003 they separated. Lisa had become a born again Christian and denounced Janet’s sexual orientation. They fought a long and bitter legal battle over visiting rights and custody that ended in 2009 when Lisa, with the help of a Mennonite pastor, Mennonite missionaries and several evangelicals, kidnapped Isabella and secretly took her out of the country.
Over the years I’ve thought about these two women, trying to understand them. How did Lisa square her religion with hating someone she’d loved? What kind of religion brought her to hate enough to deprive her ex of their daughter and deprive her daughter of the love of her other mother? And how must Janet have felt not being able to visit her daughter and then after she disappeared, not even knowing where she was.
I didn’t set out to write about a woman who has a breakdown and believes she must kidnap her daughters to save them from eternal damnation. But I don’t plan my books. I let my subconscious guide me and The Disappearance of Lindy James is the result of my wondering about the motives and feelings of two women involved in such a tragic story.
And do I need to say, it’s fiction."
Della B. - This is not your typical Catherine Maiorisi book. It is a deeply involved fictional look at mental illness and how it affects the life, family and friends of Quincy, Lindy and their two young daughters. The story is told through two narrators, Quincy and Lindy. We are inside Lindy’s head as she devolves and it is a scary place. As well we are privy to the emotional ride Quincy faces as her family slips away. This is by no means a light read. The writing is solid with exceptional moments when describing the inner workings of Lindy’s mind as she loses touch with reality. The storyline is intensely interesting as Quincy and Lindy’s lives diverge. The sense of community is illustrated as both supportive and loving on the one hand and manipulative and false faced on the other. The dichotomy is displayed convincingly as we follow both narrators. I could not put this book down. And although this may be a challenging read for some due to triggers, this is an engaging story.
Meike V. - 4.25 stars. I’m a fan of the Corelli mystery series, however this is such a completely different theme, so I was curious to see how it would work for me. It was a tough read, but surprisingly good! Like in the mystery series, Maiorisi is not afraid to show the ugliness of the world, but in the end this book is about unwavering love.
This is not an easy read and contains many triggers concerning religion in combination with homosexuality, so this might not be for everybody. It is a book I will remember though, it’s very well written and I thought the insights in postpartum psychosis were very interesting and well done (to my limited knowledge on the subject) and their love for each other is something you can really feel even during the darkest parts of their relationship, which is quite exceptional. Recommend!
Sarah C. - I have never read a romance novel that touches on the same tropes and themes as The Disappearance of Lindy James. The religious trauma and cult mentality was really interesting to read about and I found Lindy and Quincy to be likable and sympathetic characters.