Retro: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell

Article published on April 11, 2016.

If you’re looking for a novel with intrigue, elegant prose and interesting characters then look no further.  Perfectly balanced between the 1930s and present day, the story unfolds in all it’s shocking detail and draws you into an intense, unstoppable journey to the great climax of the book.

This novel fits well into the canon of Irish writing in that the characters and scenes are wonderfully depicted. However, I found the prose in this book more pared down than perhaps Toibin or Enright and it made me feel that every word and phrase had been considered and carefully selected. This style certainly helped to make the book move on at a great pace.

Having read a number of the author’s books including her latest, I enjoyed this one the most.  I love the way that O’Farrell is equally at home in the head of some quite disturbed characters and also more prosaic ones. The description of Esme’s thoughts are incredible yet always believable.
A fantastic story that stays with you with lines you want to read and reread. A 5 star recommendation!

Jo Moon

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell



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