BookBrowse Reviews The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

By Maggie O'Farrell

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Oct 2007,
    256 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2008,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Vanish into an intense, gothic world of women too entirely present for their own good

Iris Lockhart is comfortable and confident in her skin: single, successful, and somewhat self-absorbed in her fashion business, her affair with a married man, and her sexually ambiguous relationship with her stepbrother. But something opens up in her when she flips through the admissions book of Cauldstone, a psychiatric hospital for women. Iris is appalled when she reads the entries for women committed in the 1930s at the same time as her great-aunt Esme, entries that testify "of refusals to speak, of unironed clothes, of arguments with neighbors, of hysteria, of unwashed dishes and unswept floors, of never wanting marital relations or wanting them too much or not enough or not in the right way or seeking them elsewhere." Behavior that Iris considers modern would have gotten her institutionalized not so very long ago, and the novel makes much of this point by ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Find Out More
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  158The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.