The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

By Maggie O’Farrell
Read by Anne Flosnik

7.30 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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Iris Lockhart is busy tending to the everyday business of her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment when she receives a stunning phone call. Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never even knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’ grandmother, Kitty, always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face. Esme has been labeled harmless, sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme is still a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit? Weaving Esme’s tragic story together with Iris’ modern dilemmas, O’Farrell’s gothic, intricate, cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt listeners long past its final page.

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Summary

Summary

AWashington Post Book World Best Book of the Year

AWall Street Journal Bestseller

ABarnes & Noble Recommends Selection

AnAudioFile Earphones Awardwinner

AnAudie Award Finalist

Finalist for the Amazon Best Books of the Year

Iris Lockhart is busy tending to the everyday business of her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment when she receives a stunning phone call. Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never even knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’ grandmother, Kitty, always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face.

Esme has been labeled harmless, sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme is still a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?

Weaving Esme’s tragic story together with Iris’ modern dilemmas, O’Farrell’s gothic, intricate, cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt listeners long past its final page.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“O’Farrell is a very visual writer, creating dead-on images…This talent serves her well at the novel’s startling and darkly rewarding finale.” New York Times
“Radiates the kind of energy that marks a classic…Think Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Charlotte Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ or Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, stories that illuminate the suffering quietly endured by women in polite society…It’s a breathtaking, heart-breaking creation…[a] fierce, engrossing novel.” Washington Post Book World
“Thoughtful, warm, elegantly written and totally shocking…a fantastic read, a real page-turner.” Daily Express
“An intricate, eloquent novel of family malice, longings, and betrayal….O’Farrell maintains a high level of tension throughout, and the conclusion is devastating.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“What a haunting story is that of Esme Lennox…Anne Flosnik does an excellent job with a story that shifts time periods and is told in a range of voices…Her flow of words creates a powerful story-current that pulls the listener along inexorably. Once begun, it’s hard to turn this book off.” AudioFile
“[A] finely wrought family exposé…the psychological suspense along the way should satisfy those looking for both strong plot and characterization.” Library Journal
“The novel is brilliant in every way…Maggie O’Farrell has written a taut, fragile mystery of relationships and deception.” Literary Review
“O’Farrell’s fourth novel brilliantly illustrates her talent for gradually revealing her character’s inner lives...A gripping read with superbly crafted scenes that will blaze in the reader’s memory long after the novel is returned to the shelf.” Booklist
“This slow-building, impressionistic work amply rewards dedicated readers with a moving human drama.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Maggie O’Farrell

Maggie O’Farrell is the author of four previous novels, including the acclaimed The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and After You’d Gone. Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, she grew up in Wales and Scotland. She now lives in Edinburgh with her family.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction
Runtime: 7.30
Audience: Adult
Language: English