“The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox,” by Maggie O’Farrell

Novel, 2006

Story of two sisters, and principally, the titular Esme, whose life is grabbed away from her when she’s committed to a mental asylum in the 1930s. In a book whose narrative slips between the two sister’s and Esme’s niece’s points of view, the overlap and interplay of very different views of the same story can be a little confusing, especially early on, although the emotional power of Esme’s story, as well as those of Iris and Kitty, have a significant force. A novel in which the background and historical play a part and in which the story is developed at a decent pace. A great cast of characters, well handled, and a devastating story at the heart of the novel.

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