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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
by Maggie O'Farrell | Literature & Fiction
Registered by Bookcloud of Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom on Sunday, May 27, 2007
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by candy-is-dandy): to be read


6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by Bookcloud from Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom on Sunday, May 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Pre-numbered label used for registration. 


Journal Entry 2 by Bookcloud from Bournemouth, Dorset United Kingdom on Friday, July 27, 2007

10 out of 10

I loved this book. I finished it in 2 sittings. Couldn't put it down. It's now reserved for Wibba 


Journal Entry 3 by wingwibbawing from Foxton, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Saturday, August 04, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Thank you bookcloud- been wanting to read this for ages-really looking forward to it. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingchamonix44wing from Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Friday, March 12, 2010

This book has not been rated.

I received this book today. The book looks very interesting and has had some good reviews. So I shall look forward to reading it. You also enclosed a lovely postcard, (which shows a print of "Le Berceau", The Cradle,1872, Oil on canvas by Berthe Morisot. It is really a lovely picture, and I'm happy that you sent it to me). Thank you very much wibba.

From Amazon:
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is Maggie O’Farrell’s most stunning novel yet – the story of a life stolen, and reclaimed.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, behold. It is most important to keep yourself very still. Even breathing can remind them that you are there, so only very short, shallow breaths. Just enough to stay alive…’

Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Even Kitty, Esme’s beloved sister, is beginning to lose patience. Something will have to be done.

Years later, in the same city, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great aunt in a psychiatric hospital who is about to be released.

Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, is too adrift in her own memories to answer Iris’s questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family’s history.


 


Journal Entry 5 by wingchamonix44wing at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, May 07, 2012

10 out of 10

I ended up with two copies of this same book, which was no problem at all because it just made it quicker for me to read it after I had got around to starting it! I had one copy upstairs and one copy downstairs in my house. So I started it last night and finished it this morning.
What a great story, but very sad. This book has no chapters, by the way, but in this case it doesn't matter, as it is sort of separated into sections by the different narrators. There are three of them....Esme, Kitty and Iris. The author flits from past to present and back again, using these characters. It is the story of Esme, a spirited young woman who doesn't want to conform to the life or behaviour that is expected of her. Because of a certain terrible thing that happens to her that affects her mood and her behaviour, her cold- hearted parents, and her jealous sister get her put into a mental institution. Poor Esme ends up spending more than 60 years in there. Her family seem to have written her out of their lives.
Then suddenly Iris, a young woman, is informed of the great aunt she never knew existed..... Esme. She collects Esme when she is released from the institution, (she is released only because the institution is closing down), and they start to get to know each other a little. Esme discovers a lot more than what she tells Iris, about the terrible secret her sister Kitty had kept all those years from her family. She then asks Iris to take her to visit her sister Kitty, who is in a care home suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. The book ends soon after that and leaves the reader hanging there, wondering what happened next.
A haunting story which I think will stay with you long after the book has been passed on to another reader. Haunting because we have all heard of real life Esme's who were "put away" a few decades ago, just because they were slightly different from others in their views, or because they were victims of something which happened, that was out of their control.
I gave the book 10 stars because it is extremely moving and very well written.
It will be released this evening.
 


Journal Entry 6 by wingchamonix44wing at Hengelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, May 07, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (5/7/2012 UTC) at Hengelo, Overijssel Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I gave this book to KJSkye to read. She doesn't get much time to read these days, as she has two very small toddlers who require constant attention, but she will get it read eventually she says!!!! 


Journal Entry 7 by KJSkye at Hengelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, May 07, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Thanks for the book. Looks good! 


Journal Entry 8 by KJSkye at Hengelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Sunday, May 13, 2012

9 out of 10

Very sad story. I read it in just a few hours because it is such an easy reader. I keep going over the story in my head. I have just discussed it with chamonix44 as well. I keep remembering things about it and I wondered why Kitty helped to get her sister "put away". OK I know it was jealously at first, but why did she leave her there? Was it because of the baby? Was she afraid? Why was she so mean? It was scary in a way. There was an article in the Mail Online today, (Daily Mail newspaper), the title of which was "Sent to the asylum: The Victorian women locked up just because they were suffering from stress, post-natal depression and anxiety. There must have been many poor women and girls locked away for virtually no reason, except their families or husbands didn't understand their behaviour, or problems. I'm glad I read this book, and I won't forget this sad story for a long time.

This is the URL address of the newspaper article:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2141741/Sent-asylum-The-Victorian-women-locked-suffering-stress-post-natal-depression-anxiety.html

That address is a bit long, so I made it shorter with Tinyurl:
http://tinyurl.com/bq38ju5 


Journal Entry 9 by KJSkye at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Sunday, May 13, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (5/13/2012 UTC) at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Since I'm with chamonix44 today, because today it's Mother's Day here in The Netherlands, I'm giving the book back to her. She will be better at either finding a new reader for this book, or releasing it. I have two small boys and I'm just not into reading or releasing books these days. So I'll let her do it. 


Journal Entry 10 by wingchamonix44wing at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This book has not been rated.

I have this book back in my possession now. I am either going to put it in my box to take to England, when I go there on holiday, or maybe I'll save it to take to the Colchester Unconvention in September. 


Journal Entry 11 by wingchamonix44wing at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Thursday, June 21, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (6/21/2012 UTC) at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

At a BookCrossing Meeting with the Colchester Bookcrossers at The Layer Fox Pub, ardachy took this book home with him. 


Journal Entry 12 by wingardachywing at Layer de la Haye, Essex United Kingdom on Friday, June 22, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Picked up at The Layer Fox during meet-up. Good to see you again chamonix44.  


Journal Entry 13 by wingardachywing at Colchester, Essex United Kingdom on Saturday, December 08, 2012

This book has not been rated.

A well crafted book that explores the changes in attitude that occurred in the twentieth century over the freedom of women and the treatment of mental illness. As KJSkye points out much of this is a throwback to the Victorian era but this book reminds us how far into modern times these attitudes persisted and in some cases still persist.  


Journal Entry 14 by wingardachywing at The Blue Egg (Farm shop & Café) in Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, March 24, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Released 1 yr ago (3/24/2013 UTC) at The Blue Egg (Farm shop & Café) in Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

On the OBCZ shelf.

The Blue Egg, Great Bardfield, Essex

For more information about bookcrossing in Essex please click here


Journal Entry 15 by wingcandy-is-dandywing at Great Bardfield, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, March 24, 2013

This book has not been rated.

Picked up at the Blue Egg bookcrossing meet. Recommended by several people there and I can't resist a recommendation. 




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