The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

3.81 (19,467 ratings by Goodreads)
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THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX is vintage Maggie O'Farrell: a stunning imagining of a life stolen, and reclaimed. 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?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 24mm | 258.55g
  • Headline Publishing Group
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • None
  • 0755308441
  • 9780755308446
  • 14,642

About Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell is the author of seven novels, AFTER YOU'D GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, which won a Somerset Maugham Award, THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX, THE HAND THAT FIRST HELD MINE, which won the 2010 Costa Novel Award, INSTRUCTIONS FOR A HEATWAVE, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa Novel Award, and THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award. She lives in more

Review quote

'Actually unputdownable, written with charge and energy and a kind of compelling drive, a clarity and a gripping dramatic insidiousness reminiscent of classic Daphne du Maurier' Ali Smith 'O'Farrell's subtlety and delicate touch have never been so finely demonstrated' Independent on Sunday 'Mesmerisingly good' Daily Mail 'O'Farrell's story-telling skills ensure that this novel is compulsively readable, and delivers strong emotional punch' Telegraphshow more

Rating details

19,467 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 23% (4,564)
4 43% (8,412)
3 26% (5,042)
2 6% (1,154)
1 2% (295)

Our customer reviews

Intrigued by the cover and the basic plot of the story, I was not at all disappointed. I read this book within as a few sittings, as it was extremely hard to put down. The story outlines 3 intriguing women and their often complex relationships with men and each other. Iris, the current day independent woman, Esme, the unconventional woman who was institutionalised because she was modern beyond the times, and Kitty, Esme's sister, strictly conventional and suffering from Alzheimer's disease (dementia). The main pieces of the story are disclosed as puzzle pieces, scattered within the narration of each woman. This is particularly relevant for Kitty. Time contexts are blurred, as the reader travels from current day, to 1930's India and England within a chapter. Thought-provoking, particularly relating to the past unethical and common treatment of young women who refused to conform to societal norms. Highly more
by Channellie
a well wriiten story telling the sadness of a young gilr put in an asylum for no reason other than being a girl in the 20s...couldnt put it down read in 2 more
by amanda thomas
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