Reading Is Sexy: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

This weekend, I started reading The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell. I vaguely recall having read a brief description of it somewhere, and then on my last trip to Half Price Books, I found a copy in the bargain books for $1. SWEET!

I’ve been avoiding reviews that might give too much away, but sharing this won’t spoil any of the reading fun: it’s about Iris, a thoroughly-modern girl — kind of self-centered and cold — who learns she has an unknown-to-her relative named Esme in a mental hospital. The facility is closing and Esme must be relocated. As the relative of record, Iris is summoned and bam! the plot is off and running.

I’ve only read to page 66, but so far, the writing is beautifully descriptive but somehow sparse and airy, too. There’s a sense of undefined, imposing mystery… like at some point there will be a delivery of significantly bad news. It’s literary without being too stuffy or IMPORTANT. And while I’m just getting to know the characters, their relationships too each other are layered and messy; their interactions driven by all kinds of internal motivators… just like real life. I have hope that while Iris is somewhat unlikeable now, the addition of Esme into her life is going to change her for the better.

If you want to check it out for yourself, here’s a review in the Washington Post — or you can buy it at Amazon.

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