Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
Paperback: 417 pages
Publisher: Hodder 2006
Source: Unknown on my bookshelves since 2006.
First Sentence : ‘I was six years old the first time I disappeared.’
Review Quote : ‘Gripping read …never slips into straightforwardly familiar territory and successfully avoids being overly sentimental’ Guardian
My Opinion: I was not impressed.
As I have more titles by Jodi Picoult on my TBR shelves than by any other author I decided it was time I read another one of her books as I have not done so for a couple of years! I really used to enjoy her novels until I got bored with them all being so similar in format. I Thought it would be interesting to see how I felt after a break. I was not impressed! Maybe my tastes have changed as I really did not enjoy this one. It is strange as did I know somehow that this was going to be the case. I only discovered the work of this prolific author in 2006 although she has been a published author since the early nineties. I last reviewed a book of hers here back in August 2009, at which time it appears I was very keen on her writing having read eight up to that date. Why then has it taken me over two years to pick up another one, especially when even after reading this one I still have another six on our bookshelves waiting to be read. They will be read eventually as I am still hoping that this was a one off disappointment.
What would you do if you found the life you had lived for years was all a lie? This is exactly what happened to Delia Hopkins who has led an almost idyllic childhood with her widowed father. It would have been perfect had her mother not died in a car accident when she was very young. She is now on the verge of marriage with a daughter of her own and a search and rescue job that she loves. Sad that her mother will not be at her wedding she is disturbed by flashbacks from her past that she simple cannot recall. The nature and power of memory are strong and that is the central theme of this powerful story. What happens when the past we did not even know we were running from catches up with us and the memories come back to haunt you.
This should have been so much better than I found it to be as it had all the potential of being a gripping and sentimental story, which it was in parts. Just the parts that I did not like were a big let down for me. The truth hurts I know but I just found the scenes set inside the American prison system far too disturbing in my current frame of mind. Unfortunately these horrendous scenes spoilt the novel for me but do not let my weakness put you off. If you read this or have already done so I will be interested to know if you think I was over reacting; by letting just part of the story spoil the whole.
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