Jun 30, 2005
Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult
This is the latest from Jodi Picoult, and it is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this author. A little bit of a mystery, a bit of romance, a court room crime drama situation that manages not to derail the book, and so on. I really like her stuff, but I’ll have to be honest, this one comes apart at the seams a bit. They are all good page-turning beach reads, but some of Picoult’s books are definitely better than others.
Our main girl Delia is a semi-single mom (maybe in her late 20s?) whose relationship with her baby-daddy, Eric, has been rocky because of his alcoholism. She has a very close relationship with her own father, who solely raised her because her mom died when she was very young, or so she’s been told. Turns out, her mom is not dead, her dad kidnapped her from Arizona when she was really young, changed their names, moved them to New Hampshire, and has been living the suburban life of a fugitive ever since. He did this, he insists, because her mother was a terrible mother, being an extreme alcoholic.
So Delia’s father is arrested, she is having a real true identity crisis, Eric is a lawyer so he’s trying to represent Delia’s dad, Delia meets her mom, this other best friend of theirs is actually in love with Delia and gets all up in the mess, Delia has an experience with this Native American spiritualist, and on and on. I could list about fifty more plot elements without giving anything away, and therein lies my point: there is just too much thrown in here for a cohesive novel to emerge. It’s an ok book, but most of her other books are way better, especially My Sister’s Keeper.