The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox- Maggie O'Farrell
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 over sixty years. Iris' 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' face. Esme has been labeled harmless; sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme is 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? Maggie O'Farrell's intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth will haunt readers long past its final page.
I heard so many great things about this book, that was looking forward to reading it. I picked it up on a lazy sunday fully expecting to lose myself in it. Well, let's just say that that Sunday I rearranged my bookshelf, and washed a couple loads of laundry. It wasn't horrible by no means, I found one or two things to enjoy about it, but much more things I hated.
First, the writing style was off putting, I would get frusterated, and just put it down for the day. Why did she end a paragraph in mid-sentence, and start a new one mid-sentence, it did nothing for the flow of the book. Another thing I disliked was the added story of Alex and Iris. It seemed like it was thrown in there just to fill up more pages. I would find myself skimming through pages concerning Iris and Alex's relationship. The ending, well, it left a bitter taste in my mouth. It was so abrupt that I actually wanted to through the book across the room, I kept reading it hoping the ending would make up for the rest of it, and then to end up with that garbage.
The one thing I like in the book was the character of Esme, she was so unrestricted, and out of the box. I guess it's fair to say I would not recommend this book.
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 24, 2007)