Wednesday, March 12

Jodi Picoult: Vanishing Acts

The adored daughter of a widower, Delia Hopkins, has everything she could ever want: a job she enjoys, a daughter she loves and a handsome fiancĂ©. But she has started having flashbacks to a life she can’t recall. Confused by these memories, she is determined to discover where they are coming from and what they mean.
Her investigation leads her to rediscover the mother she thought dead for the past 28 years, and puts her beloved father in custody for kidnapping. The ensuing court case, and the father’s motives for his actions, gives definition to the memories as the story unfolds.
Picoult usually writes a great literary page turner but I didn’t find this story up to the expected throat-gripping standard. She explores the nature and power of memory without going down the predictable route of recovered memory syndrome which, given this story, would have been easy to do. She shows wonderful insight into relationships and with a cast of well rounded characters. And she, once again, provides a plot which tackles the ambiguities of morality. The result is a good story, don’t get me wrong. But it isn’t a great story, and that is what I’ve come to expect from her.
I saw the two main plot twists from the first, so there was a decided lack of tension and a palpable sense of disappointment when I was proved correct. I had hoped that maybe I was wrong and there would be an unexpected turn at the eleventh hour, but that was not to be. I also found the ending a little predictable as well.
Not a bad book by a long shot, but not one of her best-Lynn

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