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The Vanishing Act: A Novel Hardcover – September 17, 2012
"Truly Madly Guilty" by Liane Moriarty
The new novel from Liane Moriarty, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, and What Alice Forgot, about how sometimes we don’t appreciate how extraordinary our ordinary lives are until it’s too late. Learn more | See author page
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The central theme is about a twelve year old girl named Minou and the disappearance of her mother. One day her mother puts on her best shoes, takes her big black umbrella and walks out the house never to be seen again.
Everyone thinks she is dead, except for Minou. She does not believe her mother is dead, but will return one day. She keeps a journal, building a case with the reasons why she believes her mother is still alive.
While Minou was walking on the beach, she comes across the body of a dead boy. She runs to tell her father. Her father comes and carries the dead boy to their home. He decides to put the dead boy on the bed in Minou's mother's blue room until the ship arrives in three days. In the interim, he opens the window to make sure the boy's body remains frozen.
Minou's father is a philosopher from the descendant of Descartes searching for the absolute truth. Both Minou and her father struggle to find answers and figure out what happened.
Her father believes the key to finding the absolute truth is somehow connected to the dead boy's body. He thinks he will get the answer (as does Minou) by sitting with him for three days until the ship arrives.
Minou and her father live on a small, remote island surrounded by the ocean. I get the impression the island is in the middle of nowhere. The only people living on this isolated island is Minou, her papa, a Priest, Boxman the magician and his dog, No Name.
You never quite know where any of them come from (except for Minou) and/or how they wound up on the island.Read more ›
"Uncle nodded, still looking pale, and then told me that he used to be scared of ghosts.
'Aren't you scared anymore?' I asked.
'I started looking straight at them,' he said. 'Then they stopped coming so close.'"
If you read the story straight-up, you'll probably be confused and annoyed, because not that much happens. If you read it to learn something about life, I think you might love it. I certainly do.
I don't think I loved it that much, but I certainly did enjoy it, and it's a very enchanting book. It's the story of Minou, who lives on a tiny snow-covered island with her philosopher Papa. The other inhabitants of the island are Boxman the magician, No-Name, his dog, and Priest the priest. A year before the story begins, Minou's mother disappeared. Minou knows that she isn't dead, despite her shoe being found washed up. Then one day, Minou finds a dead boy washed up on the beach. Her father lays him in her mother's room. Can Minou's mother's disappearance be explained by him? Minou will not accept that her mother is dead and using Descartes, is determined to find out what happened.
I thought this was a very interesting one, with an interesting premise. I love stories like this; however I didn't love this one, though I really liked it. I thought Minou's parents were interesting: her father is a philosopher-type, and he's interested in proofing everything with logic and reason, whereas her mother is more interested in the imagination. Two very different people, and then you have Minou, who tends more to reasoning and logic, but also the imagination.
This book definitely feels like a fable, and I'm very glad that I got it from W.W. Norton. I didn't love the writing style, but it was sweet and simple.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that goes nowhere. I would have given up at halfway but always hoped that the magic would break through but the magic never arrived! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Book worm
Simply put...there are books that should not be written, this is one of them.Published 11 months ago by FRS
Mette Jakobsen’s The Vanishing Act was an odd but thoughtful and provoking little book. Twelve-year-old Minou lives on a tiny island with only her father (Papa), a priest (Priest),... Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by S. Mahan
The setting is good, and the viewpoint of the daughter is well delivered. It has a melancholia that is utterly solid given the circumstances.Published on February 8, 2014 by Jane Waldock
This was a little gem of a book with stunning writing that made you appreciate every word. Even more impressive if you think it is a debut novel. Read morePublished on November 12, 2013 by avid_reader
It's an odd story that is beautifully written with magical moments and unexplained events. A few books later I still find myself fondly thinking back on it. Read morePublished on October 21, 2013 by Valerie M Esparza
I never could nail down what the book was truly about. Perhaps I needed to familiar with the mythology of the country of origin.Published on October 4, 2013 by Joyce H. Jones
I loved this Gem of a book. A wonderful story with intriguing characters and plot. A pinch of imagination and dash of realism combine to create a delicious novel. Read morePublished on September 10, 2013 by reading4life
I saw some amazing reviews of The Vanishing Act. When we received an advanced reader copy at my library, I had to give it a try. I do not see what the fuss is about. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Jane Easterly