The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
by: Maggie O'Farrell
Published by: Harcourt
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Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid
This book is a combination of gothic, mystery and history—rolled into one very good work of fiction.
Esme and Kitty Lennox were born in India. The two girls loved each other but as the years went by and it was time to look for a husband for each of the girls, Kitty became jealous of Esme–and Esme balked at the restrictions of the times. Esme did not like dressing up and wearing gloves and going on display. She only wanted to go to school. Kitty was the opposite.
When Esme was sixteen she had something happen that put her in a state of shock and brought out the green-eyed monster in her sister Kitty. The parent’s solution was to call a doctor and Esme was placed in an institution.
Iris Lockhart is Kitty’s granddaughter and lives in the house owned by Kitty prior to the grandmother being admitted to a nursing home. Iris receives a letter that her grandmother appointed her guardian of Esme, and Iris learns that the institution where Esme has resided for over sixty years is going to close–and it is up to Iris to find a place for Esme.
Even though Iris is battling her own problems, she picks up Esme and brings her home. The reader learns the history of Esme and Kitty through flashbacks. It is a sad and tragic story.
This is a great book, and I know I will think about Esme and what she went through for a long, long time.
Armchair Interview says: If you like a book that stays with you because of the strength of the story, this is for you.
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