Book Review: The Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult

Hello All

I am here today after reading the Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult.  It took me a while to get through this book as  I had an exam to study for by finished it today!   This is the first Jodi Picoult book that I have read.  I know right,  she is a super famous and acclaimed author.  I am really trying to branch out of my horror suspense reading  genres.  I actually found this book as a pretty entertaining read with some interesting themes throughout.

It start off with the main character Delia and her hound dog Greta as a search and rescue team.   We read on the find out more about her life with her daughter Sophie and soon to be husband Eric.   Eric, herself and their friend Fitz have known each other since they were little kids.   You immediately see a deep connection between them and a love triangle transpires.  We meet Andrew, Delia’s father whom all the characters love and admire.

Things start to get interesting when Andrew is arrested for the charges of kidnapping.  It turns out that he took Delia, actually Bethany Mathews, when she was only 4 from her mother.   All the characters then fly to Arizona where Andrew will stand trial for the charge.  To make things more interesting Delia asks Eric to represent Andrew as his attorney, oh the tangle webs we read 😉

The story goes on from there and delves into the reasons why Andrew would kidnap his daughter from a mother she thought was dead.  Delia is having a hard time figuring out who she is now that this new information has come forth. She struggles with still having loving feelings towards her father but also angry at the lies.   The inner turmoil continues as she start having flash back memories of her old life.  The lines of her old life and new life become blurred to her. Delia is also nervous about meeting her mother.  We have all put people we are searching for up on this pedestal like dreaming of the man/woman we will marry.   This comes with the fear of what happens when we meet this person and they are not who we envisioned.   We fear the disappointment and rejection.


As Jodi start to write about the trial and Andrew’s experiences in jail it starts to feel like a John Grisham book.   It really enjoyed this take on the events as it did not feel like the book was so taken over by emotions.  It gives us a little break from all the feelings we are experiencing while reading about all that has happened to Delia.  We find out that her mother was an alcoholic.  Andrew did not want Delia having to take care of her drunken mother and start resenting her so her took her away to give her the life he thought she deserved.   Near the end of the book child sexual abuse also comes out.  This theme always makes people uncomfortable but I feel that it is handled well.  Alcoholism seems to be a recurrent theme as Eric’s mother was an alcoholic and Eric himself becomes one.  I feel this helps Eric become more involved in Andrew’s defense as he uses his own experiences to help Andrew with his trial.  The feelings of not being taken care of by his mom helps him with some of his arguments in Andrew’s behalf of taking Delia from Elsie (Delia’s mother).

One theme I thought was very interesting is how she kind of put the reader in the mind set as to what we would do if we were in Andrew’s situation.  Do we break the law to save our loved one or do we hope that the person will straighten themselves out for their daughter/son sake.   Do we then tell them when they are old enough about what happened or is it safer for them not to know the truth in order to save them from certain disappointments.

If you guys have any comments on this theme or about the book in general please feel free to leave a comment.   Or if you have a book suggestion from Jodi Picoult I would love to hear it!    Happy Reading!!!!

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