This is a hauntingly poetic story of a mysterious village with people routinely experiencing acute loss and isolation. A Handmaid's Tale and the film, Midsomer, came to mind as comparisons depicting this strange Amish atmosphere where mothers leave their families regularly never to return. The robotic women in the village have no depth of feeling. When a mother vanishes, they eagerly snap up her possessions and clothing and strut around town showing off their acquired treasures. As the main character, Vera, surmises, "we were in a competition to outlast one another". This was a sad and difficult read for me due to the isolation I have felt over the past two years so it was not easy to understand characters who actually choose isolation as their path in life. This is a perfect book for book clubs since it is so thought provoking and is going to divide people drastically. I am eagerly looking forward to Alexis Schaitkin's next book.