Excerpt from Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Vanishing Acts

by Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2005, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2005, 448 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


He leaves us sitting in the near dark in his bedroom. Eric touches the photograph on the top as if it is as delicate as milkweed. "That," he says quietly. "That's what I want with you."



There is a thick fog tonight, but Greta and I have trained enough in this patch of land to know our way by heart. I sit down on a mossy log while Greta sniffs around the periphery. Above me, something dangles from a branch, full and round and yellow.

There are some dreams that get stuck between your teeth when you sleep, so that when you open your mouth to yawn awake they fly right out of you. But this feels too real. This feels like it has actually happened.

I've lived in New Hampshire my whole life. No citrus tree could bear a climate like ours, where we have not only White Christmases but also White Halloweens. I pull down the yellow ball: a crumbling sphere made of birdseed and suet.



I am still thinking about this the next morning after taking Sophie to school, and spend an extra ten minutes walking around, from the painting easel to the blocks to the bubble station, to make up for my shoddy behavior yesterday. I've planned on doing a training run with Greta that morning, but I'm sidetracked by the sight of my father's wallet on the floor of my Expedition. He'd taken it out a few nights ago to fill the tank with gas; the least I can do is swing by the senior center to give it back. .

Suddenly I feel a prickle on my wrist; something has crawled onto my arm. My heart kicks itself into overdrive and my throat pinches tight, as it always does at the thought of a spider or a tick or any other creepy-crawly thing. I manage to strip away my jacket, sweat cooling on my body as I wonder how close the spider has landed near my boots.

It's a groundless phobia. I have climbed out on mountain ledges in pursuit of missing people; I have faced down criminals with guns; but put me in the room with the tiniest arachnid and I just may pass out.

The whole way into the senior center, I take deep breaths. I find my father standing on the sidelines, watching Yoga Tuesday happen in the function room. "Hey," he whispers, so as not to disturb the seniors doing sun salutations. "What are you doing here?"

I fish his wallet out of my pocket. "Thought you might be missing this."

"So that's where it went," he says. "There are so many perks to having a daughter who does search and rescue."

Copyright © 2005 by Jodi Picoult. Printed by permission. Excerpted from the book Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.