Eleven-year-old Neela dreams of being a famous musician, performing for admiring crowds on her traditional Indian stringed instrument. Her particular instrument used to be her grandmother’s—made of warm, rich wood, and intricately carved with a mysterious-looking dragon. When this special family heirloom vanishes from a local church, Neela is devastated. As she searches for it, strange clues surface: a teakettle ornamented with a familiar-looking dragon, a threatening note, a connection to a famous dead musician, and even a legendary curse. The clues point all the way to India, where it seems that Neela's intrument has a long history of vanishing and reappearing. If she is able to track it down, will she be able to stop it from disappearing again?
Vanished was a good book that I thoroughly enjoyed. When my mom told me she wanted me to read and review vanished, My first thought was 'good a fantasy book' . But that was far from the truth. Though there was fantasy elements like Guru original veenas, and a mysterious curse, this book could be classified as a modern fiction.
Just so all of you know, I really really loved this book, and hope to hear more from this author. Furthermore, there is an element in the story that could suggest a second book. I think the main point in this story was about love for music rather than the curse over the instrument. I learn quite a bit about India and Veena's (a instrument that I personally have never even heard about until I read this book).
The tale also was about friendship, loyalty and what a man will do in the memory of his daughter. In some parts I thought it was quite touching how the author described scenes in the book, you almost felt like you were there. The main character has a immense case of stage fright, something which I can completely understand. I will never speak in front of a crowd of more than three people that I don't know unless my mom says something embarrassing about me and I need to defend my dignity, or I'm being graded. Gradually over the period of the book, she learns how to deal with this problem.
I say four stars are easily won by this book, if not five. It was an adorable story and all it did was make me want to travel to India, and learn to play the Veena! But sadly there is no Vennas being sold on ksl.com (classified ads). Trust me, I've checked. Twice.