An Irish Bestseller and finalist for the Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year
Louisa is the new scholarship student at Temple House, a drafty, imposing cliffside boarding school full of girls as chilly as the mansion itself. There is one other outsider, an intense and compelling student provocateur named Victoria, and the two girls form a fierce bond. But their friendship is soon unsettled by a young art teacher, Mr. Lavelle, whose charismatic presence ignites tension and obsession in the cloistered world of the school.
Then one day, Louisa and Mr. Lavelle vanish without a trace, never to be found. Now, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the disappearance, one journalist—a woman who grew up on the same street as Louisa—delves into the past, determined to uncover the truth. She finds stories of jealousy and revenge, power and class. But might she find Louisa and Mr. Lavelle, too?
Told in alternating points of view, The Temple House Vanishing is tense, atmospheric, and page-turning . . . with a shocking, ingenious conclusion.
"With shades of everything from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Frost in May to Picnic at Hanging Rock and The Secret History, this is subtle, intriguing and very well written." —The Guardian
“The Temple House Vanishing is Rachel Donohue’s first novel, but she nails the angst and spookiness like a pro. Her gloriously moody story is full of the kinds of twisted turns that happen when jealousy and passion run wild. If you liked Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, don’t let this lush, gothic tale pass you by.” —Apple Best Books of the Month – July 2021
“The creeping pace, melancholic tone, and full-bodied characters create a perfect snapshot of desperate youth amid oppressive tradition. This stands among the best of the current modern gothic trend.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Atmospheric and suspenseful, this will be appreciated by fans of Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa.” —Booklist
"Evocative and mysterious . . . Sublime writing." —Sunday Independent
"Rachel Donohue's Gothic-tinged mysteryThe Temple House Vanishing will keep you guessing until the last page." —PopSugar
“In an atmosphere where the cacophony of teenage hormones blares amid a community of nuns who have directed their passion toward the religious life, Donohue adds to the sense of shambolic emotions at play with skillful pacing. —Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Donohue is a master of clean, sharp prose and has a hugely impressive ability to create layers of atmosphere or ratchet up tension in a couple of beguilingly simple sentences." —The Irish Times
"Atmospheric, creepy, tense, and utterly absorbing . . . Loved this." —Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange
“Rachel Donohue is an enchanting writer. Her words seem, at first, innocent and straightforward, but then it becomes apparent that they are doing mischievous things. As Mr. Lavalle, a central character in her impressive debut The Temple House Vanishing, points out: ‘It’s important to remember that here, nothing is ever as it seems.’” —The Sunday Business Post (Ireland)
“Donohue is a master of clean, sharp prose, and has a hugely impressive ability to create layers of atmosphere or ratchet up tension in a couple of beguilingly simple sentences.” —The Irish Times
“This brooding tale of obsessive love, teenage jealousy and hidden desire has a dark charm all of its own…While the unsettling atmosphere is enough to keep the pages turning, Donohue also does a fine job of holding parts of her story back. When the shocking solution is finally revealed, it is in the sort of circumstances that all but force the reader to return to the beginning to marvel at how the trail was laid.” —inews.co.uk
Rachel Donohue lives in Dublin, Ireland, where she works in communication and media relations. In 2017 she won the Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year Award for her short fiction. The Temple House Vanishing is her first novel.