Jenny's Reviews > The Vanishing Act

The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen
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's review
Oct 03, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012-challenge
Read from October 02 to 08, 2012


This was a short, enjoyable read with a strong sense of place and isolation (the place is an island). It has an almost magical, fairytale quality to it: Minou the only child on the island, her mother vanished (presumed dead by Minou's father and the other two men on the island, Boxman and Priest, but believed alive by Minou), the grownups odd due to their experiences in the war and to their vocations: philosopher/fisherman, priest, and magician. There is little plot; Minou attempting to knit together a coherent story for herself, with her father's philosophy and her mother's imagination, is most of it.


With Descartes' words the island became solid again and I realised how easily logic gets lost in the night. (35 of 92)

But then I reminded myself that logic...had nothing to do with either kindness or love. (61 of 92)

"Sometimes," explained Boxman, "sadness has a sweet, enchanting edge. It pulls at your heart and you can't get enough." (63 of 92)

Uncle nodded, still looking pale, and then told me that he used to be scared of ghosts.
"Aren't you scared anymore?" I asked.
"I started looking straight at them," he said. "Then they stopped coming so close." (66 of 92)

I got the postcard from my pocket and read it again: " is the heart and not the words - not even in the most beautiful ones - but in the heart, in the skeleton bird pushing against your chest, wanting to fly, that we know for certain who and what we love. That is all we have, and all there is." (86 of 92)

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