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Author
MaggieOFarrell
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2007
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A Welcome from the Author

I've always been interested in what happens to the same type of woman -- unconventional, uncompromising, refusing to conform to society's expectations -- at different times in history. In The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox the lives of two such women unexpectedly collide: A young woman called Iris receives a phone call out of the blue telling her she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric hospital who is about to be released. Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and cannot understand why her family might have airbrushed out Esme's existence.

Why did I set out to write a novel about a sixteen-year-old girl sent to an asylum in 1930s Edinburgh? Some time ago, a friend told me about his grandmother’s cousin, who had just died. She had been committed to an asylum in her youth and had never come out. Why had she been sent there? For eloping to Ireland with a legal clerk.

I couldn’t forget this cousin. That there had been times in history when girls could be deemed insane for such things seemed beyond belief. I began to read around the subject and discovered cases of girls institutionalized because they tried on their mothers’ clothes, or showed too much interest in men, or turned down offers of marriage, or kept taking long walks. Asylums, I discovered, had once been used as places to contain not just the mentally ill but also the disobedient and the inconvenient.

Novelists never fail to be absorbed by disobedient and inconvenient people. I have often been labeled as such myself. I shudder to think what could have happened to me if I had been born sixty years earlier. This novel springs from that shudder.
New User
Sneakers
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-24-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Thank you for taking the time to introduce yourself to your readers. I have not bought the book yet, but the comments you have made plus the write up on the book has me ready to go to Barnes and Noble on my lunch hour and snatch it up! I feel it was written for me to read at the right place and time in my life. I struggle with feeling like an "Outsider", wanted to venture out and do things "differently" but I always err on the side of what might "appear" appropriate and in line with what society expects. I look foward to reading it and plan to come back and share my insights as I go along. Again, thank you!
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themominator
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-26-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

I am also very excited about reading it. I am new to the book club but, not to books. I have heard great buzz about The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and I am actually going out today to my local B&N to purchase it. Thanks for sharing your insights as to why you wrote this book. Can't wait to comeback to dish....
Author
MaggieOFarrell
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Thanks for your message. I really hope you enjoy the book.
All the best,
Maggie
Author
MaggieOFarrell
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Hi,

Thanks for writing. I hope you like the book.

All the best,
Maggie
New User
bookchatcentral
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-30-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

"disobedient and inconvenient people" No wonder I'm attracted to the lives of your people.

After You'd Gone was a terrific introduction, but Vanishing Act just blew me away. Fortunately, a member of my book club had also read it recently because I HAD to talk to someone immediately upon finishing!

Thank you so much for Esme. Now I'm going to have to read the books between these two titles, aren't I.

Off to see what others have said so far.

Jill
Contributor
Mizzyb
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-27-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Well done! Could not put the book down. Brilliant play between the three points of view.Before reading "Esme", "the Yellow Wallpaper" this is a great follow up to the subject of women, lack of impowerment, madness and outside controlling forces. Cannot wait to read some of your other works.
Author
MaggieOFarrell
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

You're very kind - thanks so much.

Maggie
Contributor
Queenie_D
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-26-2007
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Re: A Welcome from the Author

Just wanted to stop in and say that my real time book club is reading The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox for our book club this month. I've also featured it as my book of the month pick on my website Book Club Queen and will be shortly adding a review to our bookshelf page. It's also the feature of our newsletter which goes out January 15th. Guess what I'm trying to say is that we are all totally psyched by this book!

I think it may end up being a great conversation on the 21st!
"I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" -Casablanca

Desiree, aka Queenie D
www.book-club-queen.com
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