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Vanishing Acts

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Vanishing Acts Cover

ISBN13: 9780743454551
ISBN10: 0743454553
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Prologue

I was six years old the first time I disappeared.

My father was working on a magic act for the annual Christmas show at the senior center, and his assistant, the receptionist who had a real gold tooth and false eyelashes as thick as spiders, got the flu. I was fully prepared to beg my father to be part of the act, but he asked, as if I were the one who would be doing him a favor.

Like I said, I was six, and I still believed that my father truly could pull coins out of my ear and find a bouquet of flowers in the folds of Mrs. Kleban's chenille housecoat and make Mr. van Looen's false teeth disappear. He did these little tricks all the time for the elderly folks who came to play bingo or do chair aerobics or watch old black-and-white movies with soundtracks that crackled like flame. I knew some parts of the act were fake — his fiddlehead mustache, for example, and the quarter with two heads — but I was one hundred percent sure that his magic wand had the ability to transport me into some limbo zone, until he saw fit to call me back.

On the night of the Christmas show, the residents of three different assisted-living communities in our town braved the cold and the snow to be bused to the senior center. They sat in a semicircle watching my father while I waited backstage. When he announced me — the Amazing Cordelia! — I stepped out wearing the sequined leotard I usually kept in my dress-up bin.

I learned a lot that night. For example, that part of being the magician's assistant means coming face-to-face with illusion. That invisibility is really just knotting your body in a certain way and letting the black curtain fall over you. That people don't vanish into thin air; that when you can't find someone, it's because you've been misdirected to look elsewhere.

Copyright © 2005 by Jodi Picoult

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Dear Reader, November 10, 2008 (view all comments by Dear Reader)
Jodi Picoult's writing is superior.

I can hear her characters speaking. I can see their faces. I can feel their joy and their pain.
She has a rhythm that makes me feel like Iā€™m there.
Interesting to have each character write in the first person. I like her use of different fonts for each character. Reminds me of John Irving using all CAPS for OWEN MEANY.

I'll read ALL of Picoult's works. Her books give me such a different perspective.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Jeanne, September 2, 2006 (view all comments by Jeanne)
Jodi Picoult writes about perspectives, culture, relationships in a fully absorbing story. Once I started this book, I had to keep reading to see what happens next. Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the Deep End of the Ocean says it best "the author wraps the reader tighter than a spider's silk in the inticracies of the story. Never more gripping is the master plotter than in this, the story of Delia Hopkins." You cannot put it down once you start it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743454551
Author:
Picoult, Jodi
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Subject:
family drama; women s fiction; lifetime movies; my sister s keeper; cameron diaz; abigail breslin; wolf research; the storyteller; school violence; cancer; child abuse; divorce; book club; new hampshire; beach read; chick lit; new england; princeton; hear
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
November 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.34x5.34x1.18 in. .84 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Vanishing Acts Used Trade Paper
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$5.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Washington Square Press - English 9780743454551 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Vanishing Acts is too busy to be tightly focused. And its main event, delivery of the bombshell about Delia's past, arrives so early in the story that it renders the rest anticlimactic."
"Review" by , "Picoult...is a pro at lively storytelling. Vanishing Acts is richly textured and engaging, and there are a few twists and turns that keep the plot from being too predictable. But ultimately, Vanishing Acts is about the elusive nature of memory."
"Review" by , "[A] terrifically suspenseful tale by developing just the right human-interest elements to make a workable story....An experienced novelist takes her sweet time to rich rewards: overall, an affecting saga, nicely handled."
"Review" by , "[R]ichly textured and engaging."
"Review" by , "[A] masterpiece."
"Review" by , "What is it about a Jodi Picoult novel that wraps the reader tighter than a spider's silk in the...intricacies of story? Never more gripping is the master plotter than in this, the story of Delia Hopkins."
"Synopsis" by , How do you recover the past when it was never yours to lose?

Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her beloved, widowed father, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall...until a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret about herself that changes the world as she knows it — and threatens to jeopardize her future. With Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult explores how life — as we know it — might not turn out the way we imagined; how the people we've loved and trusted can suddenly change before our very eyes; how the memory we thought had vanished could return as a threat. Once again, Picoult handles an astonishing and timely topic with under-standing, insight, and compassion.

"Synopsis" by , From the bestselling author of "My Sister's Keeper" and "Second Glance" comesthe shocking story of a woman caught between a past she cannot recall and thelife she cannot lead without it.
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