Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her ability to tap into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she explores what happens when a young woman's past a past she didn't even know she had catches up to her just in time to threaten her future.
Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father, Andrew, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiancé, 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. And then a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret that changes the world as she knows it.
In shock and confusion, Delia must sift through the truth even when it jeopardizes her life and the lives of those she loves. What happens when you learn you are not who you thought you were? When the people you've loved and trusted suddenly change before your eyes? When getting your deepest wish means giving up what you've always taken for granted? Vanishing Acts explores how life as we know it might not turn out the way we imagined; how doing the right thing could mean doing the wrong thing; how the memory we thought had vanished could return as a threat. Once again, Jodi Picoult handles a difficult and timely topic with understanding, insight, and compassion.
"Delia Hopkins was six years old when her father allowed her to be his assistant in the amateur magic act he performed at the local senior center's annual Christmas pageant. 'I learned a lot that night,' recalls Delia, who is now 32, at the start of Picoult's absorbing new novel (her 12th, after My Sister's Keeper). 'That people don't vanish into thin air....' She has come to know this even better as an adult: she makes her living finding missing people with her own search-and-rescue bloodhound. As she prepares for her wedding, however, Delia has a flash of memory that is so vivid yet so wildly out-of-place among the other memories from her idyllic New Hampshire upbringing that she describes it to a childhood friend, who happens to be a reporter. Soon, her whole world and the world of the widowed father she adores is turned upside down. Her marriage to her toddler's father, a loving but still struggling recovering alcoholic, is put on hold as she is forced to conduct a search-and-rescue mission on her own past and identity. It will cut to the heart of what she holds to be true and good. As in previous novels, Picoult creates compelling, three-dimensional characters who tell a story in alternating voices about what it might mean to be a good parent and a good person, to be true to ourselves and those we love. Picoult weaves together plot and characterization in a landscape that is fleshed out in rich, journalistic detail, so that readers will come away with intriguing questions rather than pat answers. Author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[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." Kirkus Reviews
"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." Janet Maslin, The New York Times
About the Author
Jodi Picoult grew up in Nesconset, New York. She received an A.B. in creative writing from Princeton and a master's degree in education from Harvard. Her previous novels include Keeping Faith, The Pact, and Mercy. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.