The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Version: Unabridged
Author: Maggie O'Farrell
Narrator: Anne Flosnik
Genres: Literature, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Published In: October 2007
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 7 hours, 30 minutes
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Iris Lockhart is busy tending to the everyday business of her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend's attempts at commitment when she receives a stunning phone call. Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never even knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital-where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris' 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 Esme is still 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?
Weaving Esme's tragic story together with Iris' modern dilemmas, O'Farrell's gothic, intricate, cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt listeners long past its final page.

Reviews (2)

Strange & Sad

Written by Linda B on January 27th, 2020

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I wasn\'t sure where this tale was going but the whole story was sad with bits of humor sprinkled in to lift the mood. What a family history!

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

Written by Anonymous on August 11th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a very interesting story that weaves together several threads from the main characters: Iris, a young woman: Esme, her great aunt: and Kitty, her grandmother. Both Esme and Kitty tell part of their tale from earlier years and the present time. The story is advanced bit by bit to bring the present time together with the past to understand what happened to Esme. It is a bit disorienting at first going between characters and time frames, but I got used to it as the book progressed. The ending was unexpected and left a few strings hanging, but as I think about it, it was an appropriate ending. The narrator has a wonderful accent and I liked her lilt as she read.

Author Details

Author Details

O'Farrell, Maggie

MAGGIE O'FARRELL is the author of four previous novels, including the acclaimed "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox", which was a B&N Recommends Pick, and "After You'd Gone". Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, O'Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. She has two children.