Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Vanishing Acts by Jodie Picoult

Vanishing Acts

Vanishing Acts (2005) starts with the capture of a kidnapper. Everyone that knows the kidnapper is surprised: they know him as a pillar of society. The victim is also surprised: she didn’t know she had been kidnapped.

Delia is about 4 years old when her father takes her away to live far away in a different state (within the USA). He tells her that her mother has died. She has a great upbringing with her father, and her two neighboring friends, Eric and Fitz. Eventually, she becomes Eric’s partner and they have a daughter called Sophie.

Now, 28 years after the event, the secret has finally come out and Andrew, Delia’s father is arrested and taken to Arizona (where they originally came from) for trial. Delia is angry with her father, but tries to understand the situation: what would her life have been like if she had not been taken away? And is her mother still alive after all?

The book is told by the main characters, alternating chapters, sometimes repeating events that have already been told by someone else, but now told from their own point of view. This worked very well, although the story of Andrew, in prison, was not very connected to the other stories. His story dealt with his time in prison and how he, in fact, becomes a criminal while there!

The story of Delia and Sophie reminded me a bit of Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver: mother and young daughter leave their home for a different state, end up with an Indian population, and get some great insights through them. That’s fine, just a bit similar.

I enjoyed reading the book. It’s a nice book, compared to some of Picoult’s other books, like Nineteen Minutes. My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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14 Responses to Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

  1. I rather enjoy Jodi Picoult’s books and in a pinch, and find that they are always a good go to if nothing else captures my interest. One of my favorites by her is Keeping Faith (have you read?) — I think that’s the best one of hers, and she sticks to the alternating viewpoints in most of her stories which I really enjoy because it doesn’t get confusing. I haven’t read Vanishing Acts yet, but am definitely going to have to add it to the collection!

    • leeswammes says:

      Natalie, I haven’t read Keeping Faith – I’ll make a note of that. I don’t think she’s a brilliant writer, but her books are always interesting.

      • Yes, completely agree — she’s definitely not a particularly brilliant author, but I would be interested to hear what your thoughts are on Keeping Faith. I think that is the best one by far out of the ones that I’ve read.

  2. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for the review. I actually have this book but haven’t read it yet. I picked it up because a friend of mine can’t say enough good things about Jodi Picoult.

  3. I have a mental block against Jodi Picoult. I’m not sure why.

    • leeswammes says:

      There are enough other books in the world. I only read the book because it was given to me. But it was good anyway. Maybe you don’t like her hair? 🙂

  4. Rachel says:

    I have read two Jodi Picoult novels and I really enjoyed them! She sure knows how to write a good, gripping, interesting story!

    I am sure I will get to this one, one day.

  5. Carin B. says:

    Is this your favorite Jodi Picoult book? I want to read one of her books because I keep hearing great things about her, but I don’t know which one to pick. This sounds like it might be a good one to start with.

  6. Novroz says:

    That’s a very high rating you’ve given to this book. I haven’t read it yet..but will definitly check it when my student comes back from her study in Malaysia.

    She is Picoult’s dedicated fan, so I like borrowing Picoult books from her

  7. lucybirdbooks says:

    I think I need to re-read this, I only very vaguely remember it after reading your review. What else of Jodi Picoult’s have you read? I’ve read most of them but found her a bit hit and miss lately. If you haven’t already try My Sister’s Keeper and Handle with Care they’re my favourites (and there’s a review of Handle with Care on my blog if you’re interesteed).

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