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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

by

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Cover

ISBN13: 9780151014118
ISBN10: 0151014116
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 3 left in stock at $1.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 more than sixty-one 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 she'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?

A gothic, intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox will haunt you long past its final page.

Review:

"'O'Farrell (After You'd Gone) delivers an intricate, eloquent novel of family malice, longings and betrayal. Slim, stylish Iris Lockhart runs a dress shop in contemporary Edinburgh when she's not flirting with her stepbrother Alex or rendezvousing with her married attorney lover, Luke. Esme Lennox, meanwhile, is ready to be discharged from the soon-to-be-closed psychiatric hospital where she's been a patient (read: virtual prisoner) for 61 years. Iris becomes aware of Esme's existence when she's informed, to her disbelief, that she has been granted power of attorney over Esme by Kitty Lockhart, Iris's Alzheimer's-afflicted grandmother. It turns out Kitty and Esme are sisters, but Kitty kept quiet about Esme after she was hospitalized at age 16. Layer upon layer of Lockhart family secrets are laid bare — the truth behind Esme's institutionalization, why her existence was kept a secret, and a twist involving Iris's parents — as Iris mulls over what to do with her new charge, and Esme and Kitty reconnect. O'Farrell maintains a high level of tension throughout, and the conclusion is devastating.' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"

Review:

"Maggie O'Farrell's three previous novels have been respectfully reviewed, but her new one radiates the kind of energy that marks a classic. Think Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening,' Charlotte Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper' or Jean Rhys' 'Wide Sargasso Sea': stories that illuminate the suffering quietly endured by women in polite society. To that list of insightful feminist tales add 'The Vanishing Act... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a strange, sad, and a marvelously well-written novel. I would like to think that families only behave this way in books, but unfortunately betrayal, jealousy, and secrets are all too common in real life. It was a terrific book, I will be thinking about it for a long time." Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife

Review:

"A moving human drama." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"O'Farrell is a very visual writer, creating dead-on images." New York Times

Review:

"A gripping read with superbly crafted scenes that will blaze in the readers memory long after the novel is returned to the shelf." Booklist

Review:

"A sudden ending to this finely wrought family exposé may leave some readers in the lurch, but the psychological suspense along the way should satisfy those looking for both strong plot and characterization." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Maggie O'Farrell's captivating and critically acclaimed gothic tale of family secrets and the irrepressible freedom that truth brings

 

Chic and independent, Iris Lockhart is tending to her vintage-clothing shop in Edinburgh (and evading her married boyfriend) when she 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 more than sixty years. Iriss grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esmes papers prove she is Kittys sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her father in Esmes face. Esme has been labeled harmless—sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world—but she's still basically a stranger, a family member hidden away who will surely bring secrets with her when she leaves the ward. Moving expertly among the voices of Iris, Kitty, and Esme herself, Maggie O'Farrell reveals the story of Esme's tragic and haunting absence.

Synopsis:

Praise for THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX:

"This haunting and extraordinarily engrossing novel--part gothic mystery, part tangled family drama--reminded me why I love reading in the first place: it's because a well-written book has the power to carry us away to a place we've never been but always suspected was there." — Carolyn Parkhurst, author of THE DOGS OF BABEL

"I found this actually unputdownable, written with charge and energy and a kind of compelling drive, a clarity and a gripping dramatic insidiousness reminiscent of classic writers like Rebecca West and Daphne Du Maurier." --Ali Smith, author of Hotel World and The Accidental

"Prickly, disturbing and delicious, a novel to gulp in a single sitting." — The Observer

"Like Sarah Waters or Douglas Kennedy [OFarrell] displays a gift for storytelling that makes her novels almost ridiculously pleasurable to read." – The London Times

"Beneath the cool Edwardian detail of this elegantly written book lie the horrors of a Gothic novel." — The Guardian

 
"I would like to think that families only behave this way in books, but unfortunately betrayal, jealousy, and secrets are all too common in real life. It was a terrific book, I will be thinking about it for a long time." — Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife

About the Author

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of three previous novels, including the beloved After You'd Gone. Born in Northern Ireland, O'Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. She lives in Edinburgh.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Erin Golsen, August 3, 2008 (view all comments by Erin Golsen)
I couldn't stop reading this book, even though it was breaking my heart--the tragedy of Esme's life is so vividly and beautifully rendered. The story is skillfully structured so that even when you think you understand, there's another layer to the enormity of what has happened to Esme. Now that I've finished it, I can't stop thinking about it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151014118
Author:
O'Farrell, Maggie
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Family secrets
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080602
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.54 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Harcourt - English 9780151014118 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'O'Farrell (After You'd Gone) delivers an intricate, eloquent novel of family malice, longings and betrayal. Slim, stylish Iris Lockhart runs a dress shop in contemporary Edinburgh when she's not flirting with her stepbrother Alex or rendezvousing with her married attorney lover, Luke. Esme Lennox, meanwhile, is ready to be discharged from the soon-to-be-closed psychiatric hospital where she's been a patient (read: virtual prisoner) for 61 years. Iris becomes aware of Esme's existence when she's informed, to her disbelief, that she has been granted power of attorney over Esme by Kitty Lockhart, Iris's Alzheimer's-afflicted grandmother. It turns out Kitty and Esme are sisters, but Kitty kept quiet about Esme after she was hospitalized at age 16. Layer upon layer of Lockhart family secrets are laid bare — the truth behind Esme's institutionalization, why her existence was kept a secret, and a twist involving Iris's parents — as Iris mulls over what to do with her new charge, and Esme and Kitty reconnect. O'Farrell maintains a high level of tension throughout, and the conclusion is devastating.' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a strange, sad, and a marvelously well-written novel. I would like to think that families only behave this way in books, but unfortunately betrayal, jealousy, and secrets are all too common in real life. It was a terrific book, I will be thinking about it for a long time."
"Review" by , "A moving human drama."
"Review" by , "O'Farrell is a very visual writer, creating dead-on images."
"Review" by , "A gripping read with superbly crafted scenes that will blaze in the readers memory long after the novel is returned to the shelf."
"Review" by , "A sudden ending to this finely wrought family exposé may leave some readers in the lurch, but the psychological suspense along the way should satisfy those looking for both strong plot and characterization."
"Synopsis" by , Maggie O'Farrell's captivating and critically acclaimed gothic tale of family secrets and the irrepressible freedom that truth brings

 

Chic and independent, Iris Lockhart is tending to her vintage-clothing shop in Edinburgh (and evading her married boyfriend) when she 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 more than sixty years. Iriss grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esmes papers prove she is Kittys sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her father in Esmes face. Esme has been labeled harmless—sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world—but she's still basically a stranger, a family member hidden away who will surely bring secrets with her when she leaves the ward. Moving expertly among the voices of Iris, Kitty, and Esme herself, Maggie O'Farrell reveals the story of Esme's tragic and haunting absence.

"Synopsis" by ,
Praise for THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX:

"This haunting and extraordinarily engrossing novel--part gothic mystery, part tangled family drama--reminded me why I love reading in the first place: it's because a well-written book has the power to carry us away to a place we've never been but always suspected was there." — Carolyn Parkhurst, author of THE DOGS OF BABEL

"I found this actually unputdownable, written with charge and energy and a kind of compelling drive, a clarity and a gripping dramatic insidiousness reminiscent of classic writers like Rebecca West and Daphne Du Maurier." --Ali Smith, author of Hotel World and The Accidental

"Prickly, disturbing and delicious, a novel to gulp in a single sitting." — The Observer

"Like Sarah Waters or Douglas Kennedy [OFarrell] displays a gift for storytelling that makes her novels almost ridiculously pleasurable to read." – The London Times

"Beneath the cool Edwardian detail of this elegantly written book lie the horrors of a Gothic novel." — The Guardian

 
"I would like to think that families only behave this way in books, but unfortunately betrayal, jealousy, and secrets are all too common in real life. It was a terrific book, I will be thinking about it for a long time." — Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife

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