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Publisher's Summary

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' 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?
© and (P)2006 Maggie O'Farrell
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Critic Reviews

"O'Farrell's imaginative territory is one you return to with delight." (The Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Ann on 10-19-09

I didn't like it

When this book ended I thought there was some kind of mistake, so I listened to the last part again....how unsatisfactory. It's like the author just ran out of ideas and quit! I was waiting for it to get started.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Anna on 07-15-13

One of the best readings I have heard

What made the experience of listening to The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox the most enjoyable?

Daniella Nardini's characterisation and interpretation

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox?

The most memorable moments were when Esme was removed to the hospital. The extraordinary unfairness of the law and the brutal conditions in mental hospitals at the time were graphically and movingly described

What does Daniella Nardini bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The voices of the different characters, especially Kitty, which I think I would have found it hard to track through reading only

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I have been listening to talking books for over 15 years and this is one of the best readings I have heard. I was moved to tears.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Karen on 05-21-07

Gripping

This certainly was the equivalent of a 'page turner' I could not stop listening. I love Maggie O'Farrel's writing, and was gripped by this latest novel. That said, I did feel that the ending of this novel was a little light weight.....I felt it ended just when it had really begun....Not, in my view, her best work, but still extremely well written and engaging.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Bianca Coleman on 04-28-16

Touching, gut-wrenching read

I loved everything about this audiobook. The story is remarkable - full of tragedy, love, guilt and jealousy. The performance by Nardini was fantastic, transitioning seamlessly between characters. I didn't expect the ending at all.

Well worth a listen, I think.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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