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Vanishing Acts

By Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2005,
    432 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2005,
    448 pages.

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Sandy (09/11/11)

Close to home
Only close to home because of the alcoholics in the family, and the fact that a child doesn't always have protection...we remember some things, but what do we really remember?

The book hooked me from the start, and I have to say I am relieved at the end to a certain extent. BUT I am still crying!
Alyssa (10/21/07)

Jodi Picoult's
Best-selling author Jodi Picoult has written a number of novels with intricate plots and deep characters. Her story-lines are emotional and dive into controversial issues that are happening in today‘s world. I had the pleasure of reading two of these books, Picture Perfect and Vanishing Acts.

   There were, of course, similarities between the two books. Both of the main characters are women who suffer in some way or form. Delia Hopkins, main character of Vanishing Acts, has her seemingly perfect world turned upside down when the police knock on her door one night, revealing a dark secret her father has kept about her past. Her fiancée, best friend, and loving widowed father all turn out to be someone radically different than she believed. The only people she can truly say don’t change is her young daughter, Sophie, and her rescue bloodhound, Greta, who she uses to sniff out people who have gone missing.

   Cassandra Barret, Picture Perfect, suffers in a different sort of way. The book begins with Cassie waking up in a graveyard with a cut on her head and a severe case of amnesia. She is found by newcomer L.A.P.D. cop William Flying Horse, who is trying to escape the life of his people in the Sioux reservation. The story unfolds as Cassie discovers that she is married to Hollywood’s crowned prince Alex Rivers. She is taken back to one of his three mansions and to her fabulous lifestyle. As her memory begins to come back, her memories of her pregnancy and the physical abuse that she had been trying to escape from surface. Now she must flee Alex’s grip, again, for the sake of herself and her unborn baby.

   I preferred Picture Perfect over Vanishing Acts because I felt it was more interesting. Vanishing Acts was good, but a bit to slow for my taste. Picture Perfect kept me interested. It made me want to flip the page and find out what was going to happen next. Both informal books were well written, developed and defined. The complex story line in Vanishing Acts was hard to follow at times. It changed points of view jumping from character to character. Picture Perfect displayed the same style, but was less jumpy because it had fewer characters to go between.

   Picture Perfect was written before Vanishing Acts by Berkley Trade in July 2002, while the other was published by Washington Square Press in November 2005. My opinions about the topic of physical abuse between married couples has not changed since reading this book. I disagreed with it before reading Picture Perfect, and disagree with it after. Now the topic that Vanishing Acts raises did, in fact, change my opinion slightly. After reading it I understood the topic a little more in depth. I now know that in some situations, the illegal may be the only thing that seems to be right in order to protect a loved one.

   The theme in Vanishing Acts is, I believe, that you have to learn to forgive someone that has broken your trust. When Delia’s father’s secret of her past surfaces, she must move past it. She has to learn to re-trust her father, and everyone else in her life for that matter, and put the pieces of her life back together.

   In Picture Perfect, the theme is somewhat different. It is more about sticking up for yourself and not letting anyone control your life. Cassie must run away from Alex, jeopardizing her marriage with a man she is deeply in love with to save herself, and her unborn baby, from his uncontrollable rage.

   Both books were, in my opinion, marginally above average. They were, for the most part, interesting, and good books to pass the time with. Picoult is a wonderfully talented writer, and I will be checking out some of the other books she’s written. I would recommend these books to people who enjoy literature about touchy topics and meaningful themes.
Whitney (05/26/07)

Vanishing Acts
A great book. I Loved the subject matter--a Father kidnapping his own daughter to protect her from an abusive mother. As in all her books Jodi Picoult picks topics that make you think and question what is morally right, and Vanishing Acts is no exception.
Christina (07/19/05)

Excellent
I highly reccomend this book, as well as every other Jodi Picoult novel.

She truly has a gift for writing.


This is a wonderful, and very touching story of a father/daughter relationship... What do you do when your whole existence is based on lies? That is the question Jodi deals with in this novel...a must read.
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