Holly's Reviews > Vanishing Acts

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
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's review
May 22, 2008

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bookshelves: recorded-book
Read in May, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I either liked this one four stars or two, depending on the part I'm thinking of. As always, Jodi Picoult handles astonishing emotional situations and provides plenty to care and think about when a grown woman learns she was abducted as a child--by her kind and nurturing father.

The rest of the story centers around the characters and the ensuing legal drama. It is heavily a story about motherhood and expectations, with a realistic angle on alcholism thrown in for good measure.

Two things that really bothered me: There was one character I grew attached to who seemed to serve no real purpose except to give the protagonist a reason to bring out her search and rescue dog, because how cool is that, that an abducted child grows up to do search and rescue?

The other element I didn't care for, and never do no matter how many times I encounter it, is the protagonist who has a willingly spare lover on the hook for when the other relationship doesn't work out, like an emergency ration. This is obviously a matter of personal taste, and Picoult is the first author I've seen use this plot element and not wreck the entire story with it...maybe because her story is superior to begin with.

Besides Picoult's style and voice, other pluses include the settings--especially the jail scenes from the kidnapper father's point of view. The killer triple twist at the end made me glad I'd stuck with it, and a healthy dose of moral ambiguity ensure I'm going to remember this story for a very long time.

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