Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday's Book Recommendation--One Day Late
Better late than never, I hope! I want to tell you about a very odd and intriguing novel that was the selection for my book club this month. It is THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX BY Maggie O'Farrell. I actually chose this book for my group after reading that Amazon named it one of the best 100 books of 2007 and Barnesandnoble.com recommended it as a book club read. I've always been drawn to moody, haunting stories with a dark, gothic feel, and if a hefty dose of psychological suspense is sprinkled in, so much the better. Is there anything any more delicious than watching a Hitchcock movie late at night...alone...while it's raining outside? Or curling up under the covers on a winter night to read an eerie tale like Daphne Du Maurier's REBECCA? This is that sort of story--only stranger. I couldn't put it down. The author's method of unfolding the plot is very unique, and the women's issues of the past that are brought to light are both interesting and disturbing.
I had one complaint involving a situation in the setup of the plot that needs to be addressed in order for the story to be completely believable, in my opinion. I don't want to reveal too much and spoil the story for any of you that haven't yet read it, so I'll be vague, but it involves the funding of Esme's care. Did I miss something? If you've read the and can answer that question, let me know! Following is Barnes and Noble's synopsis of THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX:
"In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend's attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’s grandmother Kitty always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless—sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme’s still basically a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?
Maggie O’Farrell’s intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth will haunt readers long past its final page."