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The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006)

de Maggie O'Farrell

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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3,0582004,524 (3.81)380
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the New York Times best-selling author of Hamnet comes a gothic, intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth...
I
n the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage-clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfirend'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 more than 61 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 she'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? Exposing the seedy past of Victorian asylums, the oppression of family secrets, and the way truth can change everything, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox will haunt you long past its f
… (mais)
  1. 40
    The Yellow Wallpaper - story de Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Maggie O'Farrell says that The Yellow Wallpaper was a major influence in writng The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
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    The Secret Scripture de Sebastian Barry (rbtanger)
    rbtanger: Very similar in tone and several thematic elements.
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» Veja também 380 menções

Inglês (187)  Espanhol (5)  Holandês (2)  Catalão (2)  Francês (1)  Todos os idiomas (197)
Mostrando 1-5 de 197 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Not finished yet, I do really like it but the “omg the baby was Esme’s!” is annoying and sort of a trope or whatever. The ending was sort of an interesting twist but … Meh? ( )
  RaynaPolsky | Apr 23, 2024 |
Nastiness in Scotland
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox starts in pre-independent India where Esme and her sister Kitty grow up raised by an ayah with little interaction with their emotionally distant parents.

The parents favor the sister Kitty - Esme is a bit of a wild thing. She falls into a pond, her ribbons fall out and she refuses to wear a hat in the Indian sun.

From the Indian start the novel goes back and forth in time and we gradually learn about the lives of Kitty and Esme, in India and Scotland which is the family’s home.

Kitty has an unhappy marriage and has Esme locked up in what was then known as an insane asylum. There Esme lives out most of her life for sixty years when Iris- the great grandchild of the cold parents of Kitty and Esme - learns of Esme’s existence.

Iris is pushed to take Esme when the insane asylum is about to be demolished, and from flashbacks we learn what has happened in the intervening years.

There are a couple of plot inconsistencies and some of the side characters, such as Iris’s married lover pipe in for no apparent reason.

There’s one particular horrific scene which was out of character with the rest of the story which is rather gently told.

Overall is an easy if not memorable read. ( )
  kjuliff | Jan 4, 2024 |
Iris answers the phone one day to find that she is the family contact for her grandmother‘s sister, Esme, who she has never heard of and has been institutionalized for most of her life. From the points of view of Iris, Esme, and Esme‘s sister Kitty who is partially lost to dementia, O‘Farrell peels layer after layer from characters until their heartbreaking stories are laid bear. ( )
  yourotherleft | Dec 31, 2023 |
Maggie O'Farrell is becoming one of my favorite authors, and I'm happy to be delving into her backlist. This novel is about two sisters, Esme and Kitty, and the secrets they have kept. When Iris, in the present day, gets a call about a great-Aunt she's never heard of, she starts to discover the truth about her family's past. Esme has been in a mental institution for the past 60 years, and Iris never even knew she existed. The story is slowly revealed through Esme's memories, Kitty's memories (who has dementia), and present-day clues that Iris starts to piece together.

At first, I was a bit confused by the voice/memory shifts and timeline, but as I read I started to see the brilliance of how O'Farrell puts it all together and reveals the story.

I loved the exploration of women's lives just a few generations ago, the failures of the sisters' and mother/daughters' relationships, and the emotion of the novel. A great find at the end of 2023! ( )
  japaul22 | Dec 17, 2023 |
Its been a long time since a book affected me like this one did. I can't quite put a finger on how I felt upon finishing it, but I can say it struck a chord- love it or hate it, it resonates like a good book should. ( )
  jskeltz | Nov 23, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 197 (seguinte | mostrar todas)

» Adicionar outros autores (8 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Maggie O'Farrellautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Alemany, JosepTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Flosnik, AnneNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Much Madness is divinest Sense--

To a discerning eye--

Much Sense--the starkest Madness--

'Tis the Majority

In this, as All, prevail--

Assent--and you are sane--

Demur--and you're straightaway dangerous--

And handled with a Chain--

Emily Dickinson
I couldn't have my happiness made out of a wrong-- an unfairness-- to somebody else . . . What sort of a life could we build on such foundations?

Edith Wharton
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for Saul Seamus
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Let us begin with two girls at a dance.
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This girl is remarkable to her. She is a marvel. From all her family – her and Kitty and Hugo and all the other babies and her parents – from all of them, there is only this girl. She is the only one left. They have all narrowed down to this black-haired girl sitting o the sand, who has no idea that her hands and her eyes and the tilt of her head and the fall of her hair belong to Esme's mother. 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.
It is always the meaningless tasks that endure: the washing, the cooking, the clearing, the cleaning. Never anything majestic or sigificant, just the tiny rituals that hold together the seams of human life. (p. 2)
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. (p. 118)
But for now she will sit here. She will take just a few minutes for this. She wants to watch until the sun goes in again, until the sundial loses its marker, until the garden sinks into softness, into shadow. (p. 241)
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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. HTML:From the New York Times best-selling author of Hamnet comes a gothic, intricate tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the freedom brought by truth...
I
n the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage-clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfirend'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 more than 61 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 she'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? Exposing the seedy past of Victorian asylums, the oppression of family secrets, and the way truth can change everything, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox will haunt you long past its f

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