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Follow the Author
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Kindle Edition
Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
From the Costa Award winning, bestselling author of THIS MUST BE THE PLACE and I AM, I AM, I AM, comes an intense, breathtakingly accomplished story of a woman's life stolen, and reclaimed.
'Unputdownable' Ali Smith
Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done.
Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.
Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris's questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family's history?
About the Author
Maggie O'Farrell is the author of four previous novels, including the acclaimed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and After You'd Gone. Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, she grew up in Wales and Scotland. She now lives in Edinburgh with her family.
Anne Flosnik, a seasoned audiobook narrator, has over four hundred titles to her credit and several awards and distinctions, including three AudioFile Earphones Awards, a USA Today Recommended Listening, and the American Library Association's Special Services to Children Award. She has twice been an Audie Award finalist. She is an accomplished actress with lead credits on stage, on television, and in commercials and voice-overs.--This text refers to the mp3_cd edition.
- ASIN : B0036AS062
- Publisher : Tinder Press; 1st edition (12 November 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 2857 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 290 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #138,290 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #7,072 in Historical Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #8,185 in Contemporary Fiction (Kindle Store)
- #10,141 in Historical Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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As a young girl, Esme Lennox is taken from the family home and committed into a mental asylum 61 years later, the hospital is shutting down and the now elderly woman is released, The story is set between the 1930s and the present day and It’s so Shocking that a person, especially a female, back then could be institutionalised so easily by a family member or spouse .....
Please take a moment to push the helpful button and make my time typing up and reviewing worthwhile 🥰
The book centres around the lead character Esme who has been in a mental hospital for 61 years, the hospital is now being closed and Esme has to leave as she has passed her assessments. Iris is the second main character who didn't know Esme existed until she was contacted as Esme's next-of-kin upon the closure of the hospital. (I don't wish to say much more about the storyline as i'm conscious of giving away spoilers.) The reader is taken slowly through Esme's backstory starting with her childhood years, there is a side story centring around Iris but I personally found this a little pointless as I felt it wasn't really necessary to the main story. The reader also hears from Kitty, Esme's elder sister who has dementia and is now in a care home, Kitty tells her version of Esme's story as well as her own backstory. It is very quickly apparent that Esme should never have been in the hospital and the reader is drip-fed clues as to what actually happened to lead to Esme being admitted. There are a few twists and turns along the way but it is an otherwise linear storyline where the reader picks up clues piece by piece until the big reveal. It was gripping and I couldn't stop reading. I had guessed the truth before it was revealed to the reader but the beauty of Maggie O'Farrell's writing made up for this. The character of Kitty in particular was wonderfully written and her dementia was tackled sensitively.
If I were to find criticism with this book it would be that there were no chapters, this doesn't usually bother me but in this story it meant there were no logical pauses, it also meant that it wasn't always clear where one characters narration of the story had finished and another had began. You were able to quickly find your bearings again but initially it did cause confusion a few times until you were used to the character's voice and I think dividing the character sections into chapters of their own would have remedied this. I also felt that the story itself is at parts a little far-fetched, such as when Iris attempts to return Esme to the hospital but finds she cannot because it is only open Monday-Friday office hours, however If you can overlook these minor things it really is a wonderful book.
I debated giving this book 4 stars because of my few criticisms of it but it's rare for me to get so engrossed in a book that I don't want to stop reading and I really loved this book. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery storyline, it reminded me of Elizabeth is Missing in terms of how the clues were slowly fed to the reader so fans of that book would also enjoy this.
It took me a while to let these characters go and pick up another book. I didn't want to say goodbye.
Her family just didn't appreciate nor try to understand their youngest daughter's spirit and zest for life. Nor why she changed or bother to find out what really changed her. Such a great shame. She was sixteen and apart from other things that happened to her she was also just......heartbroken.
Iris, the great-niece is another nice character although I wasn't keen on her always referring to the dog without giving him a name. Though she did look after him properly, I suppose.
I chuckled at the lefthanders' fact that was mentioned-I had no idea ! I liked the passage about inherited features as well.
I did get very confused when we encountered Kitty the grandmother but once I realised who was talking I managed to figure her speech patterns out just fine. It just threw me a bit when she popped up. Another couple of things I never really understood were the significance of the school blazer or the beach incident.
I was very angry by something mentioned near the end and really quite upset on Esme's behalf but I can't say more as I won't do spoilers and it's very hard not to here. It was a strange ending. I hadn't realised I'd finished till it asked me to Tweet my review !!
I also need to point out that were no mistakes !!! So even more of a pleasure for this reader. I'll certainly be putting more of her stories in my wishlist.
If you have lots of books to read I would probably read this one towards the end and then only if you have something a little less sombre to follow it.