Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

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HELLO MY FRIENDS!!!!!  It has been sooooo long and we haven't chatted!!!!  I am oh so sorry, I only have one excuse...  I am 2 and a half months pregnant and all I want to do is sleep and sleep and sleep!  And when I do have time to read, I decide I should tackle my neglected house hold chores because even though my hubby is trying to be super patient and helpful with my non-existent energy he is a HORRIBLE house cleaner (he tries but seriously that man should stick with Firefighting)!  But anyway, I digress, I then realized that I haven't told you about 2 audio books I listened to recently so I simply must share them with you!  And I am almost finished with Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins so look for that review in a few days! 

Soooo.... The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell was a very quick story with lots of angles, and lots to like and lots to dislike.  The writing was fantastic, and I love stories that jump back and forth through time and give you multiple plot lines.  However, the content of this story was a little sad and disturbing in both of the said plot lines.  And the ending.... Oh boy if you read this are you in for a surprise!!  Holy cow!  I was just minding my own business and I started to put things together in my mind and was like "no, the story isn't going there is it?  Really....?  Oh my goodness!!  No she didn't!!!  Yes she did!!!"  (Literally that is what I said you can ask my husband he was sitting right next to me in the car.)

OK so here is the story.  Esme Lennox is in an insane asylum in current time. She is a very old lady and has been in this asylum for pretty much her entire life.  When the asylum has to close it's doors they notify Esme's great-grandniece Iris, but Iris has never even heard her family so much as mention Esme before.  She decides to go and see Esme and help by letting Esme live with her until she can find something to do with her.  Iris tries to get answers from her grandmother Kitty but Kitty has Alzheimer's and only gives Iris snippets of who Esme is.  Each chapter is told through either Iris's eyes and these chapters tell of her frustration behind the mystery of Esme, Iris's affair with a married man, and the sexual tension between her and her step-brother (kinda weird).  Or the chapter is told from Esme's point of view and these chapters send you back in time to the 1930s and to Esme's childhood with her sister Kitty and her family in India and later in England.  Or it is told from Kitty's point of view (which in my opinion was the most interesting chapters to read because O'Farrell really caught the mind of an Alzheimer's patient) Kitty's point of view just tells the same story as Esme but from the family's opinion of Esme.  Kitty's chapters also kind of fill in the holes to why Esme was sent to the asylum in the first place.  Then the ending!  You just have to read to find out about the ending.

I really really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't a literary masterpiece but it was very enjoyable and very interesting.  I would highly recommend this to a book club because the discussion would be fantastic!  I would also recommend this book to anyone that enjoys books written in different points of view or historical fiction buffs.  

RATING: 4 Stars

3 more reviews of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox:

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
(Library Copy of Audio Book)

 ISBN 1433209721
6 Discs {7 hours 30 minutes}

If you liked The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox then you should read:  The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Borrows


  1. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. Congrats on the bun!

    This book is already on my TBR--it sounds great to me. Have you read anything else by O'Farrell? I really liked her book, After You'd Gone.

  3. I liked this one, but wasn't crazy over it. I do have another book by O'Farrell on my TBR list though.

  4. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
    The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox seems to be getting great reviews from everyone who's read it. I've read The Hand that First Held Mine and really enjoyed that so I'm keen to give this one a try.

  5. Congratulations on the upcoming arrival - that is so exciting! This sounds like a great book, but so familiar. Have you read The Secret Scripture? Very same premise... and sounds like it may have a similar reveal.

  6. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I'm so happy for you. --Nice review, I'll have to check it out.

    Take good care.