Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell.

I liked this book. I found it in the bargain books at Barnes and Noble and it was worth the price. (It is listed on the B&N website for only $2.98-can’t beat that for a good book!) It is a very simple, quick book to read, but I enjoyed the story and there were a couple of twists at the end of the book that I really did not see coming, and they added some more dimension and meaning to the story. Actually, this might even be a book that I might re-read at some time.

The following synopsis is taken from this website:

In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend's attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless—sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme’s still basically a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit? Maggie O’Farrell’s intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth will haunt readers long past its final page.

Esme was a very likeable, but mysterious character. (By mysterious, I mean, that I kept trying to figure out what her diagnosis might have been that kept her in the institution all those years.) Her sister, Kitty, also was speaking through-out the book, which at first was confusing, until I figured that out. But Kitty’s narration really added to the story.

This was a quick read, as I said before, but it was also one that I couldn't put down. I found myself reading later into the night than I usually do. The author really did a good job engaging the reader. I have not read any of her other books, but I would sure be willing to give them a try. Please let me know if anyone reading this has read any of her other work.

As many of the books that I read, I notice that a reader’s guide/book club guide is also available for the book.

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