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The Vanishing Act

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The Vanishing Act Cover

ISBN13: 9780393062922
ISBN10: 0393062929
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On a small snow-covered island — so tiny that it can't be found on any map — lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou's mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother's disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother's death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes' philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.

Review:

"Jakobsen's debut novel is the refreshingly pared-down story of one girl's tiny world and the life lessons available in the smallest of existences. A year after Minou's Mama disappeared from the tiny island where she and her Papa make their home, the body of a dead boy washes up on shore. Everyone else on the island — Priest, Boxman, and Papa — believes that Mama is dead, but Minou remains unconvinced. Following the logic-based deductions imparted to her by her philosopher father, Minou relives the events leading up to Mama's disappearance, searching for signs and hopeful that the dead boy may provide a clue. The night before Mama left, she, Minou, and Boxman, a circus man with a broken heart, had collaborated on a dangerous act that made Mama vanish, and Mama's yearning for an existence outside the island is made painfully clear. The sweet yet pragmatic 12-year-old girl watches Papa's search for 'the absolute truth' grate against Mama's love for the imagined, slowly unraveling their partnership. Jakobsen creates a lot with a little and builds on universals, proving that some truths are, in fact, fundamental. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"The best stories change you. I am not the same after The Vanishing Act as I was before." Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus

Synopsis:

On a small snow-covered island--so tiny that it can't be found on any map--lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou's mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother's disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother's death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes' philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.

Synopsis:

This is a story about a snow-covered island you won't find on any map. It's Minou's story. A year ago, her mama disappeared. It's a story about a magician, a priest and a dog called No Name. It's about Papa's endless hunt for the truth. It's about a dead boy who listens, and Minou's search for Mama's voice. And it's about discovering what love is.

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About the Author

Mette Jakobsen was born in Denmark in 1964. She holds degrees in philosophy and creative writing and is the author of several plays. The Vanishing Act is her first novel. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

marikamccoola, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by marikamccoola)
This is a gem of a novel. Gorgeous imagery, philosophy, and art combine to make a novel that may be enjoyed by adults, teens, or precocious twelve year-olds. Minou lives on a small island, one that can be walked around in under an hour. In addition to Minou and her lighthouse, there is her father, a priest in the church, Boxman and his dog, No Name, in the barn, and, before she vanished, Minou's mother. One year ago Minou's mother disappeared. Though it is believed that she died, Minou knows she didn't- and can rationally prove it. Her father's devotion to philosophy and her mother's love of art and imagination combine in Minou. When a dead boy washes up on the shore, he brings with him the smell of oranges and questions both physical and philosophical. It will take both her understanding of philosophy and her mother's love of art and imagination for Minou to process the visitor.

Like Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, reading the The Vanishing Act is like peering into a snow globe. Though I can imagine what characters are thinking, I am removed from them, observing their strange, miniature world, my nose pressed right up against the glass. And like an intricate miniature, I want to carry this gem around, to peer into the world Mette Jakobsen has created whenever the mood strikes. The Vanishing Act doesn't disappear with the turn of the final page, but has stayed with me, alternately haunting and niggling my mind.

In the end, I wanted a little more information about the experiences Minou's parents had during the war and about where her mother might have gone. I think the postcard was a wonderful suggestion that Minou has found her philosophy, but I wanted it to (at least momentarily) enlighten her father, too. But despite these desires, I still adore the book and want a copy to carry in my pocket.
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Elliott, October 14, 2012 (view all comments by Elliott)
Mette Jakobsen's debut novel will captivate you. She has created a tale with a wonderful mix of magic and philosophy about a 12 year old girl Minou who lives on a very small island with her father, a descendant of Descartes. Minou's mother disappeared after putting on her best shoes, taking her umbrella, and walking out of their house. While her father and the Priest who lives on the island believe Minou's mother to be dead, Minou doesn't. When the body of a dead boy shows up onshore, the father is convinced it will help reveal the absolute truth to him. There are a lot of mysteries in this tale and they are written with charm, melancholy and fantasy. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a wonderful story that will be sure to enchant them.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780393062922
Author:
Jakobsen, Mette
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5.375 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

The Vanishing Act Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393062922 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Jakobsen's debut novel is the refreshingly pared-down story of one girl's tiny world and the life lessons available in the smallest of existences. A year after Minou's Mama disappeared from the tiny island where she and her Papa make their home, the body of a dead boy washes up on shore. Everyone else on the island — Priest, Boxman, and Papa — believes that Mama is dead, but Minou remains unconvinced. Following the logic-based deductions imparted to her by her philosopher father, Minou relives the events leading up to Mama's disappearance, searching for signs and hopeful that the dead boy may provide a clue. The night before Mama left, she, Minou, and Boxman, a circus man with a broken heart, had collaborated on a dangerous act that made Mama vanish, and Mama's yearning for an existence outside the island is made painfully clear. The sweet yet pragmatic 12-year-old girl watches Papa's search for 'the absolute truth' grate against Mama's love for the imagined, slowly unraveling their partnership. Jakobsen creates a lot with a little and builds on universals, proving that some truths are, in fact, fundamental. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "The best stories change you. I am not the same after The Vanishing Act as I was before."
"Synopsis" by , On a small snow-covered island--so tiny that it can't be found on any map--lives twelve-year-old Minou, her philosopher Papa (a descendent of Descartes), Boxman the magician, and a clever dog called No-Name. A year earlier Minou's mother left the house wearing her best shoes and carrying a large black umbrella. She never returned.

One morning Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father decides to lay him in the room that once belonged to her mother. Can her mother's disappearance be explained by the boy? Will Boxman be able to help find her? Minou, unwilling to accept her mother's death, attempts to find the truth through Descartes' philosophy. Over the course of her investigation Minou will discover the truth about loss and love, a truth that The Vanishing Act conveys in a voice that is uniquely enchanting.
"Synopsis" by , This is a story about a snow-covered island you won't find on any map. It's Minou's story. A year ago, her mama disappeared. It's a story about a magician, a priest and a dog called No Name. It's about Papa's endless hunt for the truth. It's about a dead boy who listens, and Minou's search for Mama's voice. And it's about discovering what love is.
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