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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
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Apr 23, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

A tragic, well-written story of a woman, Esme Lennox, released from a mental institution sixty-one years after being committed because the facility is closing. Iris, Esme's grand-niece, did not know Esme existed before the facility called her to come get Esme. The book alternates among Esme and her Alzheimer-diseased sister, Kitty, remembering their childhoods and the present day is which Iris must decide how to deal with the great-aunt she doesn't know anything about. Esme and Kitty are fascinating characters, while Iris is prickly, unlikeable, and foolish. (If the book focused more on Iris, I wouldn't have finished it. A subplot about Iris could have been completely left out.) That said, the story of Esme and Kitty is really interesting and worth the read.
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