Thursday, July 9, 2009

You'll want to disappear with 'Vanishing Act'

I can't say enough good things about "The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox" by Maggie O'Farrell (ISBN 9780151014118).

After a weekend at my parents in Indiana during which I finished the Nora Roberts paperback "Tribute" I'd brought along, I needed something for the ride home. (Side note: "Tribute" is the ideal beach read.)

I came upon Esme Lennox with a note that it was to be returned to my sister. I snagged it for the ride and told her I'd return it at our next visit.

I was finished before we were out of Indiana. It's that good.

O'Farrell's understated, elegant prose tells the story of Esme Lennox who has spent much of her life in an asylum that is now closing.

According to her file, she was put away - for 60 years! - for such concerns as "Insists on keeping her hair long" and "Parents report finding her dancing before a mirror, dressed in her mother's clothes."

The tale is all the more powerful for the manner in which it unfolds. Much like the horror of the silent opening sequence of "Saving Private Ryan," the events of the novel are whispered, not screamed, and so resonate with the reader.

O'Farrell is also the author of "After You'd Gone" (which sounds familiar to me), "My Lover's Lover" and "The Distance Between Us."

I'll be checking those out.

Book's all yours, Jason. Can't wait to read what you think.

P.S. Shockingly, Jason and I are in agreement on the Kindle!
I am sure there are plenty of ways the device can be useful. I see the value in being able to access a variety of newspapers from any location. I see how it could make reading easier for those who travel extensively. I see how much less expensive production costs would be.

And yet...

That is not the reading-for-pleasure experience I am looking for. I like to read books, not computers (I do that enough already.) I liken it to shopping online. Yes there are conveniences to it and yes I can access retailers not in Lake County. But I want to walk among the racks, touch the clothes, smell the shoe leather before I buy. That is all part of the shopping experience.
So, for now at least, no Kindle for me.

- Tricia Ambrose

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