The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
by Maggie O'Farrell
Let the faint-hearted be aware: this novel is not for them. Readers with a nervous disposition will be hyperventilating long before the last paragraph of THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX. Stout and stalwart readers, on the other hand, will enjoy a delicious treat.
Maggie O'Farrell has excelled even herself. She is the highly acclaimed author of three previous novels: AFTER YOU'VE GONE, MY LOVER'S LOVER and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award. She writes with economy, power, subtlety and compassion.
True story-tellers are born, not made, and O'Farrell is indigenous to that high territory, the wonderland of pure fiction.
Euphemia Esme Lennox is born in India of Scottish parents; her father's mysterious antipathy to her is just below the surface; she differs from her sister in almost every way. The novel opens near the end of her stolen life, and into her story is woven that of her sister, Kitty, her great-niece Iris, and Iris's step-brother, Alex. It covers the ground from India to Edinburgh, through three generations and from British raj. to the here and now, with O'Farrell’s swift and deadly pen at it's very best.
THE VANISHING ACT OF ESME LENNOX is a book to remember, to treasure and to re-read at leisure for its beauty and depth - that is, when you have caught your breath and stopped shaking from your first absorbed and frightened read!
Read more about Maggie Farrell on her website or at the Headline Review bookgroup website