The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell


This is a bookring that I joined and I am so glad I did

Set between the 1930s,and the present, Maggie O’Farrell’s new novel is the story of Esme, a woman edited out of her family’s history, and of the secrets that come to light when, sixty years later, she is released from care, and a young woman, Iris, discovers the great aunt she never knew she had. The mystery that unfolds is the heartbreaking tale of two sisters in colonial India and 1930s Edinburgh – of the loneliness that binds them together and the rivalries that drive them apart, and lead one of them to a shocking betrayal – but above all it is the story of Esme, a fiercely intelligent, unconventional young woman, and of the terrible price she is made to pay for her family’s unhappiness.

I read this book in a matter of hours, it was gripping, exciting and impossible to put down. This book caused a whole host of emotions as I read. I laughed and nearly cried at several parts of the book. My heart broke when I read what happened to Esme and I was disgusted and angry at her family.

My favourite characters where Iris and Esme, very similar characters I thought. I loved their passion and how they did as they pleased. Esme was so unconventional, not a typical 1930s girl and I admired her for taking a stand and being herself.

I enjoyed this book from page 1. The ending confused me a little but once I thought about it it made sense. It isn’t how I would have ended the book but I still liked it.

I have never read Maggie O’Farrell before but I will definitely read more of her work. She dealt with issues of mental health, family, society and love delicately and extremely well.


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