Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vanishing Acts” as Want to Read:
Vanishing Acts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Vanishing Acts

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  81,070 Ratings  ·  3,774 Reviews
Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her widowed father, Andrew, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall. And then a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a sec ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published November 15th 2005 by Washington Square Press (first published March 5th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vanishing Acts, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Misti Pittman Go to your books. There will be 'x' or 'delete' button the right. Click that. It will ask you if you're sure you want to remove it, say yes. Ta Dah!…moreGo to your books. There will be 'x' or 'delete' button the right. Click that. It will ask you if you're sure you want to remove it, say yes. Ta Dah! It's gone! :-)
Happy Reading! (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 03, 2008 Jen rated it did not like it
I'd never read any Jodi Picoult before. I read the first 100 or so pages of this one and didn't want to read any more. I found it very uneven, and the character of Delia just ran around being shrill, unreasonable, and oblivious, while there are three men in her life who seem to live only to please her. Jeez.

Also, I could tell the answer to the "mystery" of why the father did what he did was going to be a long time coming--there seemed to be a lot of secrets conveniently being kept, which I thin
Sep 07, 2007 Hollyhocks rated it did not like it
Shelves: listenedto
Okay, I got to disk 10 and could not listen to this nonsense anymore! There's so much to this book that coulda been left out! I'm annoyed w/ all the Hopi Indian stuff and the gruesome prison scenes .. and the skirting around the truth crap ... I liked this book in the beginning and the way it was set up switching perspectives but then when it got to Fitz' charachter and everytime thereafter I felt ill .. what man is really like this? I thought I was listening to a female w/ all this unrequited l ...more
Teri Zipf
Oct 29, 2012 Teri Zipf rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 22, 2007 Stephanie rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only big Jodi Picoult fans
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with Jodi Picoult books. I really enjoyed Plain Truth and My Sister's Keeper, but there are definitely things about her writing that irritate me. It seems they were more apparent in this one. I personally think metaphors would be more effective (and part of a beautiful written piece) if they are few and really well woven into the book. In Vanishing Acts, Picoult tended to bash the reader over the head with meaningfulness and metaphorical irony.
So basicall
Dec 21, 2007 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I have been working my way through Jodi Picoult's books for the last couple of weeks and was really disappointed by this book. I had previously read My Sister's Keeper and The Pact and although I didn't love them I thought they were very well written and the multiple character angle worked in them. My main problem with this book was that there was too much going on, from start to finish there were just too many story lines (I felt the relationship between Delia, Erik and Fitz was pointless an ...more
Jun 21, 2007 Michele rated it it was amazing
"The Only Way Someone Can Leave You Is If You Let Them."

Vanishing Acts is yet another well told tale by Jodi Picoult, who is a master at character development. Once again telling the story through first person accounts of the main characters, she weaves together a family drama centered on a "kidnapping" that had occurred 28 years earlier.

Thirty-one year old Delia Hopkins, aka Bethany Matthews, discovers her loving and devoted father, took her away from her alcoholic mother and her childhood in S
Nov 01, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: three-star
I have a slight love/hate relationship with Jodi Picoult novels. There have been a couple which I absolutely adored and several more that I didn't enjoy at all. This latest read falls firmly somewhere in the middle.

I enjoyed the initial plot outline, it was something different and I felt empathy for the lead characters. By midway, I was beginning to feel a little bored as I knew where the story was heading. The writing felt dated. By the time the grand court case that Picoult is famous for came
The Bookavid
DNF because I just couldn't do it.
Let me talk a little about why this book made me feel bad about myself. Bad about not being White.

I used to love Jodie Picoult's books, even called her a favorite author, but as I'm growing older I'm just realizing how problematic half of them are. Her stories are mostly about White people. Which is fine, whatever, but when the only non-White characters in your book are magical Native Americans, it starts getting problematic. Yes, I'm aware this is a very early
May 17, 2012 Tima rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Current Jodi Picoult die hard fans, my Mom
Recommended to Tima by: Goodreads
Page 70, review: I've just barely cracked into this book but I already needed to comment on something. I really dislike Picoult's use of different fonts for each character. (she does the same in My Sister's Keeper If you cannot write a character well enough that it can't stand alone in generic ought to start writing from one perspective only. Barbara Kingsolver writes almost all her novels from the view of 3-4 different people per story and keeps the same font. She gives them such dept ...more
Kwesi 章英狮
Nov 27, 2010 Kwesi 章英狮 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, jodi-picoult, 2011
I don't know why Jodi copied her first book's concept about having a 5 different person's point of view. But it only differs to the topic that Jodi wanted to be enjoyed by the reader, unfortunately I never enjoyed it. The positive side, it was an easy read and it doesn't takes your whole day scourging your eyes from leaping undesirable pages. Compared to her first book, this one is better but I'm not really into comparing her works and she really improves in her past few books.

The thing is, at f
Sep 24, 2007 Liza rated it really liked it
I'm in a Piccoult zone. THis is the second book of hers that I've read and I"ve just started a new one. I appreciate the depth of the topics she writes about, this one, the ethics of a father's decision to kidnap his daughter from a staggering, alcoholic mother. Was the daughter better off never knowing her mother? Was losing her daughter what the mother needed to get clean, the ultimate tough love test? Did the father have the right to make that decision for everyone based on his fears and disc ...more
Mar 19, 2008 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recorded-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was the first Jodi Picoult novel I ever read and it got me hooked on her books. I started this book and write away I was completely engrossed in the story and the characters. I thought this was an amazing, thought-provoking story, which stayed with me long after I finished reading. As soon as I finished it I went out and brought another novel, My Sister's Keeper, by Picoult. I would definitely recommend Vanishing Acts, although it's not one of her best novels, it is still a pretty good read ...more
May 24, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fiction
This is a pretty formulaic Picoult book. She tackles many issues in this book including kidnapping, alcoholism, memory, being a parent, etc. The novel is told from multiple perspectives: Delia, who finds out her father kidnapped her as a four-year-old; Eric, Delia’s alcoholic fiancé who happens to be a lawyer and defends her father; Andrew, Delia’s father who spends a majority of the novel in jail; Fitz, Eric and Delia’s best friend; and Elise, Delia’s mother who has not seen her daughter in twe ...more
Dec 31, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: picoult
this was my 2nd jodi picoult. i hadn't been so thoroughly engrossed in a book in quite some time. its a quick and enjoyable read that will make you laugh, cry, and keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. i love the way picoult questions morally complicated situations. the plot was one of the most interesting ideas i have every read and i found myself emotionally, intellectually, and morally challenged throughout my reading.

i have heard complaints about the way jodi picoult does not ma
Dec 09, 2015 Laila rated it it was ok
I've read better from her. It wasn't terrible and I enjoyed parts of it, but all in all there were too many issues that bothered me and left me with an odd feeling. Partly, and I've had the same issue with some of her other books, especially my sister's keeper, where I feel like my idea of poetic justic or how people feel and react are just SLIGHTLY off hers. Which is worse than completely off, somehow.

Mostly I feel like she crammed a few too many side-plots and characters into this.
- I really c
Aug 28, 2007 Cecilia rated it really liked it
I have decided to create a new genre of fiction: Missing Child Fiction. This category will include such titles as The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward, The Bright Forever by Lee Martin, and this book, Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult.

Having recently read so many books with plots that revolve around a missing child I began to consider what about this topic inspires so much powerful fiction and compels so many of us to read these boo
Keli Wright
Sep 10, 2009 Keli Wright rated it it was amazing
I could have read this book straight if I had nothing else to do, I liked it that much after I was done reading it I went online and found out a lot of people hated it... I think that those people are haters!
1.people did not like that she switched characters and fonts,
I say why not!?? like they have never read a book that has done that???
2. people did not like that she had unnessasary characters and sub-plots, don't all large novels have those??? I would be shocked if I read one that did not ha
Feb 16, 2011 Ginger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love thought-provoking books
Recommended to Ginger by: MissBerry
It's been quite a while since I read anything by this author. I love her writing style (in this case, chapters were told in the voice of Delia, Andrew, Fitz and Eric). I have never read any of her books which haven't been thought-provoking, emotional, and more often than not based on something which can and usually does happen somewhere in the world. I'd forgotten how emotionally draining I feel after reading her works. This is a story which will stick with readers for a long time and have you a ...more
Mar 19, 2009 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
When I reached the halfway point of this 418 page book, I found myself wishing that I could just put it down and be done with it; but since I'd made it that far, I made the commitment to trudge on through to the end. Was it worth it? Only in the sense that, having completed it, I can now add it to my "Read in 2012" list. My 3-star rating means that it was just average for me; it wasn't horrible, but it wasn't any better than "okay", either. It even bordered on being annoying. By that description ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Jodi Picoult is one of the most popular contemporary authors. I have read and enjoyed (to varying degrees) three of her other novels. For one of my classes at Pitt, we read My Sister's Keeper, or were supposed to. I had read the book prior to taking the course and did not reread it. That one was my favorite of the Picoult books I had read. Imagine my surprise when all of my friends hated it. They said the writing was absolutely atrocious.

In my reading of Vanishing Acts, I paid way more attention
Jun 23, 2012 Anjum rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: ... No one.
Gosh. I don't really know what to say. I read this book a year ago, and while I found it having moments of profound ideas, the storyline was... Meh. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting, and I haven't read a book like it before, but it was just kind of too much. Like she tried to have everything in here. Kidnapping, pregnancy, finding long-lost mom, death due to suicide/cancer, alcoholism, Jail raping type stuff. It was kind of too much.

I like multiple perspectives in books, if I like all of
Nov 19, 2008 Jo rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: soap opera fans
This book relates the circumstances leading to and resulting from a father kidnapping his 4-year-old daughter and being caught and tried for it 28 years later. The story is told through the eyes of each character as events unfold. A section may contain the first person account of any combination of the father, the daughter, her fiancée, their childhood friend, the mother or a few other minor characters. The author throws in alcoholism, adultery, child abuse, loss, suppressed memory, deception, u ...more
Aug 21, 2010 Tifnie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Anyone who has read Jodi Picoult will know that you can finish one of her books in less than 2 days. It's not because her books are so easy to read, but because they are so compelling you can't place them down.

Vanishing Acts is about Delia Hopkins who had a great childhood, a wonderful little girl, and was engaged to one of her best friends, Eric. However, 28 years later, her father is arrested for kidnapping Delia when she was 4 years and moving across country. Delia now uncovers the truth abou
Mar 30, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jodi Picoult fans
I usually really like Jodi Picoult books. She has a great, easy readable style that still leaves you really pondering the circumstances and her character's choices. However, this was not one of her best.

One of the characters really bugged me, it was the boyfriend Eric. He did too many things that didn't make sense, and left me thinking "nobody would've done that", and that can really ruin a book. Why did he agree to defend the dad? He shouldn't have done it. It didn't make any sense.

Also, all t
Apr 30, 2008 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2008
This is my first Picoult, and I have to say, the woman knows how to weave a story, if this is any example. All the characters are detailed and real, the situations believable, and the research about the Arizona prison system (and the people in it) impressive in scope, scale, and focus. I'm not usually much into court drama, but the courtroom scenes in this one definitely take second place to the intricate weave of the lives and relationships of the characters.

The book has more than one protagon
May 24, 2015 Suzanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mixed-reviews
I'm in two minds about Vanishing Acts. When I first started it, I was immediately excited by how the story drew me in, and pleased with Picoult’s command of writing, and I thought to myself, this is going to be a good book. For a good portion of the story, JP’s writing riveted me, but the story took a detour down a long winding trail that got a bit lumpy along the way.

For me, the problem was Picoult seemed to have thrown everything — and the kitchen sink — into this book. Subplots popped up lik
Harun Harahap
Apr 11, 2010 Harun Harahap rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: punya, fiksi, terjemahan
Kehidupan Rahasia

Pernahkah anda membayangkan bahwa tetangga anda yang terlihat rukun di luar ternyata seorang pelaku kejahatan? Atau teman kantor anda yang selalu sigap menolong anda adalah seorang pelaku pemerkosaan. Bahkan ternyata Ayah anda yang selalu berpakaian rapi dengan dasinya saat pagi hari ternyata saat sampai kantor harus berganti pakaian dengan seragam buruh pabrik.

Kita tidak pernah mengetahui secara pasti apakah seseorang yang kita kenal seperti apa yang ia tunjukkan kepada kita.M
May 20, 2009 Brenda rated it really liked it
Delia Hopkins grew up with two best friends, Eric and Fitz. They did everything together, she was 'one of the boys', didn't do 'girl' stuff! When they were teenagers, they both loved her. She ended up engaged to Eric, with their gorgeous daughter Sophie and planning their wedding, when suddenly the police appeared at their door, and arrested her dad, Andrew Hopkins, for Delia's kidnapping in Arizona 28 years earlier.

She couldn't believe it! Andrew was a respected member of the community, he was
Melanie Tokar
Sep 11, 2014 Melanie Tokar rated it really liked it
This was only my second Picoult novel after I read 2013's "The Storyteller". I was (at first) a little disappointed by the formulaic narrative being repeated, but the more I got into the book the more I recalled why I enjoyed the aforementioned title so much. The same goes for "Vanishing Act" - which is 10 years old as of this year. Happy Birthday, book!

Anyway, I wound up changing my rating from three to four stars because of the ending. Whenever I get to the end of a novel, it can take me sever
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the Year i...: Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult 6 53 Jan 27, 2017 08:39AM  
Who did you want Delia to end up with? 11 131 Mar 21, 2014 12:12PM  
  • Sea Glass
  • The Secret Between Us
  • True Colors
  • The Lies We Told
  • What Matters Most
  • The Love Season
  • Lost and Found
  • The Year of Fog
  • Daughter's Keeper
  • Save Me
  • The Art of Mending
Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-three novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Leaving Time, The Storyteller, Lone Wolf, Between the Lines, Sing You Home, House Rules, Handle with Care, Change of Heart, Nineteen Minutes, and My Sister’s Keeper. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her new novel, SMALL GREAT THINGS, is available in hardcover, ebook, and aud
More about Jodi Picoult...

Share This Book

“It takes two people to make a lie work: the person who tells it, and the one who believes it.” 1288 likes
“You make yourself strong because it's expected of you. You become confident because someone beside you is unsure. You turn into the person others need you to be.” 992 likes
More quotes…