The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

2006

The first time I read this book, I thought it was “okay”.   I don’t often read books a second time, and certainly not ones that I didn’t find phenomenal on the first go around.  However, a couple years ago, someone in my book club selected this and I decided to give it a second chance.  I discovered this book to be well-deserving of my choice.   

 

Iris Lockhart lives in Scotland where she runs her own vintage-clothing shop.  She is going about her business one day when she receives a phone call that changes her life forever.   Cauldstone Hospital, a mental institution, is closing its doors and her great-Aunt Esme, whom she never knew existed, is being released after over 60 years of being locked away.  Iris’s grandmother, Kitty, is Esme’s sister; but Kitty always claimed to be an only child – a fact that Iris never had any reason to question.  This book travels back in forth in time and setting, from India to Scotland – revealing many details about Iris’s family.  There are so many layers to this story.  It is fascinating, horrifying and mysterious!  The ending leaves you wanting more, yet somehow seems appropriate. Not all questions are answered, but it really makes you think.  Take your time when reading this one; Allow yourself time to digest each chapter before diving in to devour the next one.  Knowing this going in, I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did – the second time around, of course.

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