Alisha Marie's Reviews > The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
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Feb 28, 10

bookshelves: books-i-own-that-i-ve-read, drama, gothic, historical
Read on February 28, 2010

When I was 10 pages into this book, I debated putting it down. For some reason, I felt like I wasn't going to be into the book. That I would keep picking it up for the sake of finally finishing it. I forged on because I've already abandoned a book this month and I'm so happy that I did. After those initial ten pages, I found that I could just not put this book down.

Strange as it may be, but I find that I'm drawn to stories about insane asylums especially if a sane person was locked in one. I loved the character of Esme. She was willfull, strong, and someone who wouldn't conform to what her parents and society thought she should do. If I'm drawn to the main character, then it's easier for me to finish a book. I ended up caring a lot about Esme and found myself angry on her behalf because of what she's been put through. I was emotional throughout this book and found myself wavering from anger to sadness to bitterness. I was so enthralled in this book and I absolutely loved it.

So, if I loved it, how come the four stars? While the writing is magnificent, the format was a bit weird. It alternates from Iris's thoughts to Esme's thoughts (which variated between present tense and flashbacks) to Kitty's Alzheimer-riddled thoughts. This often got confusing and I had to double check to make sure whose p.o.v. I was following. Also, this whole book was an amazing page turner except that the ending sort of fizzled. There was very little closure in it and just something that vaguely looks like resolution. I thought that it should've been a little bit longer. Also, the whole thing between Iris and Alex...not enough yuck in the world.

Anyway, even though it had a couple of shortcomings, I highly recommend this book. It was such a great page-turner that I ended up finishing it in a day (variating between reading and homework...and my professor says it's impossible to multitask? HA!) and don't regret it one little bit.
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