corner corner The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Medium

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
by Maggie O'Farrell | Literature & Fiction
Registered by lakelady2282 of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on 6/17/2007
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by LindyLouMac): travelling


This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

16 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, June 17, 2007

9 out of 10

A birthday present from Cat. Well, its a long time since I've rushed the last forty pages of a book, anticipating the ending. I guessed a few plot developments but didn't see others coming.
This is a wonderful book with well delineated characters and the past, partcularly India, is evocatively portrayed. I loved the way Esme would speak suddenly - her pronouncements so true to her situation. I'm sure you'll enjoy this Cat. 


Journal Entry 2 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, June 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Given to Cat at our June meeting 


Journal Entry 3 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Thursday, June 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received from lakelady2282 at tonight's meeting at Live Sparks. Thanks Deb. X 


Journal Entry 4 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Friday, June 22, 2007

10 out of 10

'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 unit 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?

I loved this book and didn't want it to end. I kept thinking 'poor, poor Esme'.
I'm glad I chose this one for you, Debbie, and thank you for sharing it with me. X 


Journal Entry 5 by cat207 from Gladstone, Queensland Australia on Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Returning to lakelady2282 when we meet for coffee this morning at Gloria's. Thank you for sharing Deb. X 


Journal Entry 6 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, July 10, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Thanks for returning it today Cat. Will start a bookring for it when I get Amsterdam off. 


Journal Entry 7 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, August 12, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Australia/Pacific Bookring for this book.




She's on her way!
amberC - NT - read
scrapaholic - NT - read
nikkilovesbooks - NT - read
sorcha-sidhe - SA - read
FreePages - ACT - read
livrecache - VIC - read
lmn60 - VIC - read
BellaMack - TAS - asked to be skipped
Sujie - NSW - read
jeniwren - NSW - read
VeganMedusa - NZ - read
Captainsdoxy - NZ - read 


Journal Entry 8 by lakelady2282 at Bookring in by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, August 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 10 yrs ago (8/21/2007 UTC) at Bookring in by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

 


Journal Entry 9 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today. It is the only bookring in the house at the moment so it will be next. 


Journal Entry 10 by wingamberCwing from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Thursday, August 30, 2007

10 out of 10

Couldn't put it down, I liked the way Esme would speak and had such understanding of her situation. Kitty's point of view added an extra depth to the story.

Passing to Scrapaholic tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 11 by scrapaholic from Darwin, Northern Territory Australia on Sunday, September 02, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Thanks for the book amberC. Can't wait to read it. 


Journal Entry 12 by nikkilovesbooks from Secret Harbour, Western Australia Australia on Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This book has not been rated.

I received the book in the post today. I'm keen to start reading it. I should get to within the next week (I'm reading another bookring book at the moment). 


Journal Entry 13 by nikkilovesbooks from Secret Harbour, Western Australia Australia on Monday, September 24, 2007

8 out of 10

This is not a book I would normally choose to read, but I am very glad I did! It was facinating to read about the relationship between the two sisters & the secrets that they keep, from the world and each other, for so many years. Sending it on to Sorcha-sidhe tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 14 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, November 03, 2007

This book has not been rated.

It seems the book unfortunately has either got lost in the mail or sorcha-sidhe is just not responding to her pms. If anyone is in touch with her could you please find out if she received the book. I did post a message to this effect at BCAUS but got no response. This is very disappointing with so many readers still awaiting the book. 


Journal Entry 15 by sorcha-sidhe from Quorn, South Australia Australia on Thursday, November 08, 2007

6 out of 10

Received in the post from nikkilovesbooks - awhile ago now, alas!


_The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox_ started well; there seemed such a big build-up to the story, written in classic O'Farrell fashion, but then all of a sudden it was over. And did it really end? I cant be sure. I feel as though I've been left hanging.

I just cant help but feel there's a whole lot more to this story that we didnt find out. It seemed to be building up to something huge, but then the huge thing was a bit of a let-down because it just felt rushed.

I think O'Farrell tried too hard to write it in the same style as _After You'd Gone_, which is brilliantly powerful, but _The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox_ doesnt tug at the heart-strings in the same way. There are times when O'Farrell indicates her literary genius, but it's not constant like _After You'd Gone_. Which is a shame, because it certainly could have been, I just feel that O'Farrell didnt capture the full potential of her own idea.

I liked Esme, but I wanted to know more about her time in Cauldestone. I wanted to know more about her childhood. I wanted to know more, more, more!
I liked Iris, but how does she react to her news?
I could have liked Alex if I'd known more.
I probably would have disliked Luke if I'd known more.
I couldnt despise Kitty because she was scattered - more perspective would have been good.
Her parents seemed almost absent.

I'm always disappointed when a book leaves me wanting more for all the wrong reasons.

Still, it's a good, quick read. It holds interest.
It's just a shame there's not more of it.



"We are all, Esme decides, just vessels through which identities pass: we are lent features, gestures, habits, then we hand them on. Nothing is our own. We begin in the world as anagrams of our antecedents".




Sent to FreePages 15/11/2007. 


Journal Entry 16 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received the book today, it was sent a little while ago, and a kind person checked my postoffice box today and delivered to me here in hospital. I'll try to get to this soon, since there are a number of people in the ring and it looks like a good book to boot.
Thanks to sorcha-sidhe for passing it on and to lakelady2282 for the ring.
Cheers
:-) 


Journal Entry 17 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Tuesday, December 04, 2007

7 out of 10

Well this was an enjoyable quick read. I agree with everyones previous JEs.
I liked the way it was written, had the odd twist I wasnt expecting and I was left wondering a bit at the end.
Certainly made Esme seem like the sanist person in the book!

Esme is off to livrecache in the mail today. Thanks to lakelady2282 for sharing and everyone else for passing it along. :-) 


Journal Entry 18 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Thursday, December 06, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Thanks for sending this on, FreePages -- and for the postcard.

I'm looking forward to reading the book, particularly after seeing all the positive JEs.

Thanks for sharing LakeLady2822 (such an evocative name!). 


Journal Entry 19 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Monday, December 17, 2007

8 out of 10

I hadn't read anything by this author before. I shall search out her other titles now. So much was conveyed through such precise writing, but so much was concealed by it too. Like others, I felt the ending was a little rushed -- almost as though if it were done quickly then the reader wouldn't anticipate too much. And, yes, I too was left hanging by the threads of the lives that we no longer follow. But I think that was deliberate. Always leave your audience wanting more. It was interesting how the book tapped into the older literary themes of the raj, and the crimes committed against women for their perceived lack of sanity in the 1930s -- or worse, because it suited society to think them insane. It was a very sad book, and one that will linger in my thoughts for a long time.

I've contacted lmn60 and will send it to her, hopefully, later this week. Thank you for sharing lakelady2282. 


Journal Entry 20 by livrecache at By post in Melbourne, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 9 yrs ago (12/26/2007 UTC) at By post in Melbourne, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sending off later than I planned.

All the best for the New Year 


Journal Entry 21 by winglmn60wing from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Friday, December 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Really looking forward to this one... it was mentioned in 'The Age' as one of the best reads of 2007! Being realistic, however, I won't get into it until the new year.... especially as I have one other ring book ahead of it... but I'll get to this one ASAP!

More later..... 


Journal Entry 22 by winglmn60wing from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Saturday, January 26, 2008

8 out of 10

Initially I had doubts about whether I'd like this novel - I've not read any of O'Farrell's other works - and have a horror of being sucked into an 'Oprah's selection' type book!

I was very pleasantly surprised to find this an accessible, well-written book that managed to engage me on an emotional level.

Unlike some of the previous journallers, I didn't mind the 'rushed' pace of the ending, and actually enjoyed the fact that we were not given 'too much information' about the characters and their motivations. (As a reader I find over-exposition and explanation MUCH more annoying than understatement!)

I found that this novel had a lot of cogent things to say about the role of women and of family - and as a worker in mental health, I was particularly interested in the depiction of Esme's response to the traumatic events that befell her.

Thanks for sharing this one with me lakelady2282 - you always seem to find intriguing books that I'd not have selected for myself!

BellaMack has asked to be skipped and I've just received Sujie's address.... so I'll send this one off next week. 


Journal Entry 23 by winglmn60wing from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Sending off to Sujie in the morning! 


Journal Entry 24 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, February 03, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today...I have six ring books ahead of it, though I am half way through two. If I can't finish within a few weeks I'll send it on, but I hope I can as a quick squiz at the reviews here shows it to be unputdownable. Thanks for posting, lmn60. 


Journal Entry 25 by Sujie from Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Friday, February 22, 2008

9 out of 10

I really enjoyed this writer - new to me. Thanks for introducing her to me, Lakelady.
She certainly could map the 'imaginative territory' of a child stifled by the immutable force of repressive, cold parents. In this way, and in tone and voice she reminds me of Kate Grenville's darker books, such as "Lilian's story" and "Dark places". I wanted the twist at the end, as expected as it was satisfying...but I wanted to walk out the door into what lay ahead for both Kitty and Esme. I liked O'Farrell's understatement - that doesn't keep me from wanting more of it!
Great read...looking for more titles and will start with "After you'd gone", sorcha-sidhe's recommendation.
PMed jeniwren. 


Journal Entry 26 by jeniwren from Greigs Flat, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, February 28, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Yipee just checked my mailbox and the postman has delivered a book parcel with my turn for this bookring kindly organised by Lakelady2282.
This will be my first O'Farrell novel and reading through the previous journal entries I am looking forward to reading and will start in the next few weeks. 


Journal Entry 27 by jeniwren from Greigs Flat, New South Wales Australia on Friday, March 14, 2008

8 out of 10

I enjoyed this novel and a first for this author and on the strength of this narrative I would read more of her work . It was a quick read and I devoured this in a couple of sittings and it had a bit of intrigue, a love story, sadness and a bit of humour about a huge betrayal amd it's consequences. I enjoyed the different viewpoints from the various characters. I felt the ending was a bit improbable but the only flaw for me personally in an otherwise worthwhile read.
I have PMed the next Bookcrosser on the list and will send to New Zealand as soon as I have a response. Thanks again to lakelady2282 for sharing.

 


Journal Entry 28 by jeniwren from Greigs Flat, New South Wales Australia on Monday, March 17, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Just an update re status of this book. I have made contact and now have an address for VeganMedusa and I will post off to New Zealand tomorrow morning. 


Journal Entry 29 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Thank you lakelady, jeniwren and everyone else (and can I say thank you for not making this an Aussie-only ring!).
I'll PM captainsdoxy now for an address. 


Journal Entry 30 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, April 01, 2008

9 out of 10

I didn't particularly connect to Iris and her story, but that didn't stop this book being a great read. Esme and Kitty and their relationship meant I couldn't stop reading once I'd started. Funny how Esme seemed the sanest person of all, just shows how "normal" and "abnormal" changes as society changes.
I was left quite satisfied by the ending, and it seemed completely in character with Esme - in fact, I cheered! It seemed the best ending there could have been (for her), as far as I'm concerned. :)
Posted this morning to Captainsdoxy. 


Journal Entry 31 by Captainsdoxy from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, April 08, 2008

This book has not been rated.

Received this morning in the post, thanks for sending it on to me so promptly.

I'm really looking forward to reading this - there are mixed views in the JEs so will be interesting to see which side I come down on. I'll make another entry when I've read it. 


Journal Entry 32 by Captainsdoxy from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, April 13, 2008

8 out of 10

The book is disturbing in the sense that in another world and time, people could be put away for so many "crimes" - like being a bid odd, having a break down, not conforming to parental/societal expectations.

Esme seems to have been troubled from a small child, and may well have had an underlying medical/mental condition, but the treatment she receives following her trauma is apalling, but reflective of how society behaved back then.

The relationship between Kitty and Esme is intriguing. I enjoyed getting the flashbacks of lucid memory from an old woman slowly losing her mind, intermingled with Esme's story - as others on the ring have said, she seems to be one of the most sane in the book.

Iris, on the other hand, I found colourless and I remained indifferent to her story, and Alex and Luke. For me Iris was more of a plot device, supporting the main story but not really ever getting going in her own right.

I found the ending satisfying; what would a woman want who has had her entire life stolen from her? It is never fully spelled out, which I liked, but I believe she achieved what she needed to do.

Definitely a book I would recommend. Thanks all for sharing your thoughts on this book.

 


Journal Entry 33 by lakelady2282 from Lake Macquarie, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, May 25, 2008

This book has not been rated.

And thanks everyone for participating. Hopefully the book will find a few more readers yet. 


Journal Entry 34 by Captainsdoxy from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This book has not been rated.

Hoping to send to Greece 


Journal Entry 35 by Captainsdoxy from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This book has not been rated.

No longer wanted by Greek bookcrosser so am loaning to my 'bring & swap' book group. 


Journal Entry 36 by Captainsdoxy at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, June 20, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (6/20/2010 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I got this book back from my book group (who all enjoyed it but didn't journal it) and it needs to continue its journey.

To my squash buddy AD - who needs to read more!! :-)  


Journal Entry 37 by Sherlockfan at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Caught this book at the Christmas meeting of Wellington BookCrossers. The topic interests me and I'm hoping for a good read here. 


Journal Entry 38 by Sherlockfan at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, January 24, 2011

9 out of 10

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and also reading all the interesting and informative JEs of the other readers. Don't really need to add my twopence worth but I'm giving it a 9 because it was so intriguing, informative and generally un-put-downable.
Thanks lakelady2282 for starting this ring and to all the other readers who have kept it moving quite fast.
It has reached the end of the ring/ray and I know a bookcrosser in Europe who has it on her wishlist so after checking that she still wants it it will be souring across the world.  


Journal Entry 39 by Sherlockfan at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, February 01, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (2/2/2011 UTC) at Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Delighted to learn that Bookmaniac70 would like this book and will be posting it off to Bulgaria later this morning. Hope it travels safely.
My house guest did read it and although she found it slightly confusing in parts she enjoyed it.  


Journal Entry 40 by bookmaniac70 at София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Monday, February 14, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book arrived safely and quickly in Sofia. I`m always excited when I receive such a well travelled copy with a lot of thoughts and opinions.

Many many thanks, Sherlockfan, for your kindness! 


Journal Entry 41 by bookmaniac70 at София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Monday, August 01, 2011

9 out of 10

I devoured the book in two hours. It was a perfect read. The story unfolded brilliantly, just with the right hints. I think every character was positioned within the right balance. Regarding the story itself, I share the emotions of the previous readers. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you, Sherlockfan, for sharing this book with me! 


Journal Entry 42 by bookmaniac70 at София / Sofia, Sofiya Bulgaria on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

The book is going to a good bookcrossing friend, LindyLouMac, who has it on her wish list. 


Journal Entry 43 by bookmaniac70 at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (8/3/2011 UTC) at Viterbo, Lazio Italy

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent by post.  


Journal Entry 44 by bookmaniac70 at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Wednesday, August 03, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (8/3/2011 UTC) at Viterbo, Lazio Italy

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent by post.  


Journal Entry 45 by LindyLouMac at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Thursday, August 18, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Thanks to my Bookcrossing friend from Sofia in Bulgaria this book from my wishlist arrived in the post just a few days ago. I am really looking forward to reading, always a bonus to receive such a well travelled copy, with all these interesting comments. 


Journal Entry 46 by LindyLouMac at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Tuesday, October 04, 2011

8 out of 10

Very short and therefore for me anyway a quick read. Although it was an enjoyable read it is also disturbing. I know it is fiction but it left me wondering how families were able to treat members that did not conform to the norms of society in such a way. How an earth did they justify their actions.
Esme Lennox had a troubled childhood and had she been born in our modern day era she would certainly never have been treated in such an appalling way. She is sent to an asylum in the 1930’s by her parents who have found her somewhat eccentric behaviour impossible to deal with any longer! Some sixty years later it was decided to close such asylums and residents were released into the community, with the guidance of relations if possible. Enter the other protagonist Iris Lockhart who did not even know of the existence of her great aunt Esme until she is contacted as the next of kin. Her initial reaction is not surprisingly to steer clear of any involvement with a person she has never met. Curiosity however makes Iris decide to meet Esme and inevitably she finds that she does care about what is going to happen to her. After all she is her great aunt and she does not seem to be a lunatic. As they get to know each other Iris discovers that Esme is able to tell her things about her family that she had absolutely no idea about. for instance Iris had no idea that her own mother Kit, the third narrator in the story, even had a sister. Iris’s complicated modern life shows just how much times have changed for single young women since the thirties. Iris has the freedom to live her life as she wishes with behaviour that would have been frowned upon in the era when Esme was sent away for less.

A very sad story of familial deception with an ending that left me wondering about its abruptness, but I think this is probably what the author intended.


For more info visit LindyLouMac's Book Reviews
http://lindyloumacbookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/10/vanishing-act-of-esme-lennox-by-maggie.html 


Journal Entry 47 by LindyLouMac at Viterbo, Lazio Italy on Monday, December 05, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Dear Finder of this book,

I'm so glad it has found a home with you. I hope you enjoy reading it and that you might take a few moments to jot down here what you thought about the book, or about finding it, or about bookcrossing.

You don't have to join or sign up or anything to bookcrossing to leave a comment here but if you do join, you will receive emails to alert you when others make a journal entry for this book and track its travels across the world. If you decide to join bookcrossing, now that you have discovered the site, I'd be delighted if you would mention me - LindyLouMac - as the person who introduced you to the site.

Happy reading

LindyLouMac

I am planning to release this book somewhere in Europe in the next couple of months. If you find this before I have done a Journal Entry please tell where you found it. Thankyou. 


Journal Entry 48 by LindyLouMac at Rendezvous Cafe in Machynlleth, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 5 yrs ago (1/18/2012 UTC) at Rendezvous Cafe in Machynlleth, Wales United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Dear Finder of this book,

I'm so glad it has found a home with you. I hope you enjoy reading it and that you might take a few moments to jot down here what you thought about the book, or about finding it, or about bookcrossing.

You don't have to join or sign up or anything to bookcrossing to leave a comment here but if you do join, you will receive emails to alert you when others make a journal entry for this book and track its travels across the world. If you decide to join bookcrossing, now that you have discovered the site, I'd be delighted if you would mention me - LindyLouMac - as the person who introduced you to the site.

Happy reading

LindyLouMac 


Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.