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Saxton Reads! & Reviews

We invite the public to post reviews to our catalog by logging into our online catalog. Reviews will then be posted to this blog. Comments can be added to existing posts or may be added as separate reviews on our catalog
MAY 18, 2011
Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox ~ Maggie O'Farrell
Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
~ Maggie O'Farrell

If you like your books linear than this may not work for you. Told in three voices, there's a lot of jumping around and you could easily find yourself losing the rhythm and sequence of events. Stick with it and you're in for an exceptional story. One of the central themes is the ability to commit women to institutions for virtually any trumped up reason. All it took was a signature of a doctor and off she'd go. O'Farrell states "It is a novel I've wanted to write for a long time. I first had the idea—of a woman who is incarcerated in an asylum for a lifetime—15 years ago…. The idea never went away, and I gradually amassed more and more stories and examples of girls who had been committed in the early 20th century for little more than being disobedient or recalcitrant." As she wrestled with the imagining of Esme's stolen life, O'Farrell paid weekly visits to women who had been institutionalized for decades for such "transgressions" as trying to elope or refusing to marry. In an especially poignant exchange, one of them asked O'Farrell if she had been allowed to keep the baby she had recently given birth to.

One of the main characters, Euphemia Lennox (Esme) is committed as a young girl in the early 30's and is due to be released in the 90's because the institution is to be closed. Esme's closest relative, her sister Kitty, is suffering dementia, so her grand niece, Iris is approached to care for her. Only Iris doesn't even know Esme exists. Talk about family secrets; this is like locking up the batty aunt in the bell tower and throwing away the key, but no one knows why.

Attempted by a less skilled writer, Vanishing Act could have fell flat on its face. O'Farrell's expertise with plot, characters and building suspenseful tension propels us on a horrifying, haunting journey with an ending that is perfect. It truly made me squirm. Examining issues of mental illness, the plight of women, family secrets, betrayal, jealousy and duty; it's worth a read and perhaps even a re-read to solidify just what happened.

Can't wait to hear what my book group thinks. They're either going to love it or hate it. Either way it should be a lively discussion.

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MAY 15, 2011
This is Dedicated...

All Around the World Cookbook
Sheila Lukins
Workman Publishing, c1994.

I dedicate my book  to my most magical daughters,
Annabel and Molly, who have given me
their love, and support
in ways none of us could have imagined.
And of course, to Richard, my dear husband
and extraordinary traveling companion, who so enthusiastically
planned many of the trips.


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MAY 8, 2011
This is Dedicated...
In the Shadow of the Glacier
Vicki Delany

Poisoned Pen Press, c.2007

To the C&F Friday gang:
Mary O'Brien, Helen Brown, and Jan Toms.
Your loving enthusiam has made me strong.

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MAY 1, 2011
This is Dedicated...

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel

Sarah Addison Allen
Bantam Books, an imprint of Random House, cl2010

To the memory of famous gentle giant
Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940).
At the time of his death at age twenty-two,
he was eight feet eleven inches tall--
a world record that has never been broken.

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