Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
How do you recover the past when it was never yours to lose?

Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her beloved, widowed father, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can't recall...until a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret about herself that changes the world as she knows it -- and threatens to jeopardize her future. With Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult explores how life -- as we know it -- might not turn out the way we imagined; how the people we've loved and trusted can suddenly change before our very eyes; how the memory we thought had vanished could return as a threat. Once again, Picoult handles an astonishing and timely topic with under-standing, insight, and compassion.

Topics: Kidnapping, Family, Suspenseful, Realistic, Alcoholism, Multiple Perspectives, Arizona, First Person Narration, Missing Persons, Fathers, Daughters, New Hampshire, Parenting, Single Mothers, and Heartbreaking

Published: Atria Books on
ISBN: 9781416506706
List price: $11.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for Vanishing Acts
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
A gripping tale, beautifully written. I enjoyed the way each character contributed to the narrative. more
As the mother of a kidnapped child, you would expect me to have hated this book but I found myself in sympathy with the father . In fact I came to care about all 5 of the narrators of the book and will regret not being able to keep on reading about their future.more
I didn't enjoy this book as much as several others written by this author. Personally for me too much time was spent on life in jail for Andrew. It took away from the story. I would have rather Jodi Picoult handle the issue left hanging at the end. Would I have decided just to walk away for my own sake not knowing whether it has happened or will happen to another child?

The story did keep me reading to find out what the outcome was going to be.more
ESTA PADRICIMOmore
Picoult chooses such interesting topics and provides a number of different and intriguing points of view. In this one, though, she rambled a bit, lost focus, perhaps, and omitted a couple of the key viewpoints. Still, a good and gripping readmore
It's the typical Jodi Picoult...tugging at those heartstrings. However, no tears were shed. Not her best, not her worst!more
On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 I wrote:

Well I guess I agree with you on this book gizzy.

The writing is sometimes so slow and it was boring on a lot of parts. I did want to know what happened so I finished it. I think this was my second or third book by this author, I did read My Sister's Keeper and liked that much better.
Thanks for sharing.


more
a nice quick read with many twists and turns about a girl who was kidnapped at a young age and doesn't find out until she is 28.more
Jodi Picoult is one of the most popular contemporary authors. I have read and enjoyed (to varying degrees) three of her other novels. For one of my classes at Pitt, we read My Sister's Keeper, or were supposed to. I had read the book prior to taking the course and did not reread it. That one was my favorite of the Picoult books I had read. Imagine my surprise when all of my friends hated it. They said the writing was absolutely atrocious.

In my reading of Vanishing Acts, I paid way more attention to the construction of the novel than I ordinarily do on a first time through a book (in which, unless the story is absolutely awful, I focus on the plot and the characters). I still thought the story itself was engaging, but I definitely found weaknesses in the characterization/writing. The main problem is that, if the fonts were not different for each character, I would constantly have been forgetting which character's point of view I was currently reading. They lack a unique voice. And even when they were freaked out about something, they all continued to read as a bit disaffected.

Although changing the font for each different character is neat, I really think you ought to be able to tell which character is 'speaking' without needing that. Or even without a heading. Also, I have to admit that I was annoyed by the similarity between Andrew's (Delia's father) and Eric's (Delia's fiancee) fonts. Is Picoult (or the publisher) trying to suggest that Delia has serious Elektra complex type daddy issues? Or were they just too lazy to find another font that looked entirely different from the others? There are thousands of fonts; how hard can it be?

All three had two things in common, despite their differing plots: a focus on family and a twist at the very end. The twist here was...pretty much nonexistent. The only things that could maybe called twists are Delia's continual rediscoveries of memories and a 'revelation' that was completely unsurprising given the discourse of the previous chapters.

A decent read on an interesting subject, but not an astounding book. Now for some lyrics! (This song was also selected because alcoholism is a huge topic in this book; about half of the characters are, were or were related to alcoholics).more
This is the second Jodi Picoult book I have read. She was highly recommended to me over and over through the years - and though I am not generally a fan of "ripped from the headlines" type writing - but I do love a good dependable storyteller. A few years ago I gave her a try with the book "Picture Perfect". I really didn't love that book. So I sort of abandoned the idea of reading any more of her books.I think it has been about 3 years since I read that book and decided to give her another chance. This book "vanishing acts" was much much more what I expected to encounter when I first tried her. This story has a nice brisk pace. The story moves along pretty well - there are a few stall outs - mostly when getting sidetracked discussing Native American Folklore. I thought the whole storyline featuring Ruthanne felt a little gratuitous and tacked on. I did get a flavor for why so many people really like her. She does have a gift for fluid writing. I might take on one of her more high profile books someday when I am looking for a fast read.more
An agent recently mentioned that I should read more of Jodi Picoult's books. Instead of women's fiction, she said, I think you write issue fiction, and should brand yourself this way. I'd read Ms. Picoult in the past, but found the situations to soap opera/Oprah - ish, and the stories too angsty for me. But, when I'm given advice, sometimes I take it. So in the last few weeks, I've rounded out my Picoult library with Change of Heart, two weeks ago, and with Vanishing Acts this week.



#Spoiler Alert#



Let me say I think my books are not nearly as angsty. I don't insert issue of the moment into my character's lives and see what happens. Vanishing Acts annoyed me on so many levels. The characters were too passive. Delia is lied too her whole life, but she stands by her father/kidnapper. Delia puts up with her loser/alcoholic fiance. Fitz has always loved Delia and acts as her lap dog until she turnes to him. Her mother is villianized. There's a last minute revelation of sexual abuse (a la Change of Heart). Throw in a little Native American mysticism and jail violence, and stir - instant angsty novel. If you like angsty white people who create their own drama, well, then, this may be up your alley.more
This book could have been good but unfortunately it was unmitigated drivel. I hated the pointless Native American subplot which added nothing to the book and just coopted some pseudospirituality to it.more
Vanishing Acts. Jodie Picoult. 2005. Delia has led a happy, happy life in New England even though she lost her mother when she was young and she occasionally has strange flashbacks. She has been friends forever with Eric who is the father of her young daughter and with Fitz who is also a soul mate. Her peace is shattered when her father is arrested for kidnapping her! Her father is moved to Arizona to stand trial and Delia follows with Eric who will be her father’s lawyer and Fitz who is assigned to write an account of the trial for a local New Hampshire newspaper. As with all of Picoult’s novels the plot unfolds by the points of view from the characters. In addition to Delia, her father and friends we also hear from Delia’s mother. New developments arise in each chapter and I learned more that I ever wanted to know about jail culture and how to make “meth.”I find her books compulsively readable—I think I finished this in three days!more
I have read a couple of Jodi Picoult books now, and this one was good. A well written story by an author who does her research and is not afraid to handle some touchy issues.more
I enjoyed this book. I don't really know what to say about it. It's another typical Jodi Picoult book, if you know what I mean. There are probably many other books out there that can be compared to it.more
Very similar to a lot of other Picoult and I have to say that as soon as a UTI showed up in the girl's medical record my brain immediately leaped to the conclusion that the lawyer eventually reached and I couldn't understand why it was taking them so long to figure it out. So not so much of a last minute twist as Picoult was hoping I think. Perhaps I've just read too much of a similar genre recently!more
I hadn't read Picoult before, I knew of her of course, but I'd always had a vague sense that she wouldn't be to my taste. But I got this book almost for free, and was curious about a best-selling author I'd never tried before. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but Vanishing Acts was a pleasant surprise. She jumps between narrators, and does a good job at keeping each voice distinct. I was able to like the story without necessarily liking all of the people. I was impressed enough that I'll definitely give her work another shot.more
This book is about a man imprisoned for the kidnap of his daughter and the effect the discovery of his act has on her and her family. The story is captivating and because the characters narrate their own story they can share the raw emotion they are experiencing. My only criticism is that I found the lengthy description of life in jail rather harrowing. The graphic details of violence abuse blackmail and racial hatred may be very realistic but it was a little too much reality for me.more
This book was suspenseful from the first pages to the end of the book. I love how the author writes in different fonts for the different characters. I felt like I was able to related to the situation and empathise with each of the characters. This was definitely another great read by Jodi Picoult.more
So well told, draws you in to the characters and the choices each of them have made and are making. Life is messy, and Picoult's books are great because she writes about the mess while also capturing the hope that keeps us all going even when we created the mess we're in. This book touches on relationships, Delia and her father, Delia trying to reconnect with her mother, Delia and Eric and Fitz, Andrew and Concise. It also talks about what we would do for someone we love and how to even begin to explain it to someone 28 years later.more
An absolute wonderful page-turner that once you pick it up, you can't put down. I recommend this book to anyone.more
While some of the plot seemed a bit predictable, Picoult throws in plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading. Like her other books, this one is well-researched and I enjoyed the tidbits about the Hopi, gangs and prisons, bloodhounds and search and rescue. Always something to learn!more
I got this from a friend from my birthday when I was 16 & it was a fab choice!!!I loved it, the fact that Delia was so unaware of the life that she had lead.more
(unabridged audiobook, multiple readers): Delia Hopkins has a pretty ordinary life in Wexton, New Hampshire, that gets turned upside down overnight when her father is arrested for having kidnapped her during a custody visit 28 years ago. The twisty plot and complex character relationships are revealed slowly and deliberately, hooking me from the first chapter. This is my second Picoult book, and like the other (My Sister's Keeper), it is told in a series of first-person narratives, including Delia, her father, her mother, her fiancee, and her best friend. Each character is read by a different person, all of whom were quite good with the exception of Delia, who was almost painful to listen to. Luckily, the story was good enough that I still got sucked in despite her awkward reading. If the two I've read are at all representative of quality, I will definitely be picking up more of Picoult's books in the future.more
I don’t know what I would do if I woke up one day to find out that my entire life had been a lie. What if I woke up to find out that the name that I had gone by for as long as I could remember, wasn’t my real name at all. This has never happened to me, but it is exactly what happened to Delia Hopkins, who believes that she was born and raised in New Hampshire by her single, widowed father. Part of her life was in fact a lie, told to her by her own father. She was actually born in Arizona and her mother is still alive. Her father kidnapped her, changed their names, and moved them as far away as possible for reasons Delia was only beginning to understand. Jodi Picoult weaves a beautiful story of self-discovering, family crisis, and how far love can take all of us. This book faces the reader with the fragile line between morally and legally right; which is something we all have to face.Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors because of her ability to write compelling novels on controversy subjects. This story involving the moral decision of kidnapping your own child from a dangerous environment is counterbalanced with the fact that Delia herself has a young daughter about the age that she was when her father took her. Picoult writes with such vivid language and descriptions that when Delia felt betrayed by her father, so did I. And then when she had to face what she would have done in his place with her own daughter, I was right there with her. There is irony to the story that just turns your insides and makes you think about the people all around you and what their story’s could be. Delia’s job was search and rescue. Her job was to find missing people, when in fact she was a missing person herself. I get goose bumps just thinking of all the people out there who are missing or lost, especially the ones who don’t even know it. My favorite books are the ones that make you feel something true. The ones that make you laugh and make you cry. I read this book and I laughed and cried, making this book one of my favorites. I also enjoyed the mystery and suspense of it all. Jodi Picoult has a way of writing intrigue with twists so that you could think that you have it all figured out; but your wrong. She always changes the ending from where the book is going, so that it end s up being like nothing you could have guessed. It’s thrilling and I love it. This book made me realize, that there are some things in life that you think you know, but you find out you don’t. And it doesn’t matter the most the reason why there was a lie in the first place. What matters the most is that you find out what the truth is at the moment, because only then can you live what you believe and what you know.more
I enjoyed this book. The recorded version had different voices to represent the different characters, so it was easy to keep track of who was telling the story. I did find the way the love triangle situation ended between Delia, Eric, and Fitz to be a bit unbelievable, but otherwise liked the way that this particular book ended.more
The first Jodi Picoult novel I read was My Sister's Keeper; it had been recommended to me by fellow teen oncology patients. Following MSK, I felt the need to snatch up any Picoult novels from my used books stores. None of them, however, have struck quite the same chord with me as MSK. These books are, however, easy to read, fairly interesting and something good to have laying around in case of illness or long car trips. I consider Jodi Picoult my guilty pleasure because her books are not very deep, but they are entertaining.I enjoyed Vanishing Acts because it moved out from the normal New England setting. The characters in Arizona were interesting and I wish there were more of them. The novel as a whole, however, followed along the rest of Picoult's novels and did not stand out very much.more
Read all 52 reviews

Reviews

A gripping tale, beautifully written. I enjoyed the way each character contributed to the narrative. more
As the mother of a kidnapped child, you would expect me to have hated this book but I found myself in sympathy with the father . In fact I came to care about all 5 of the narrators of the book and will regret not being able to keep on reading about their future.more
I didn't enjoy this book as much as several others written by this author. Personally for me too much time was spent on life in jail for Andrew. It took away from the story. I would have rather Jodi Picoult handle the issue left hanging at the end. Would I have decided just to walk away for my own sake not knowing whether it has happened or will happen to another child?

The story did keep me reading to find out what the outcome was going to be.more
ESTA PADRICIMOmore
Picoult chooses such interesting topics and provides a number of different and intriguing points of view. In this one, though, she rambled a bit, lost focus, perhaps, and omitted a couple of the key viewpoints. Still, a good and gripping readmore
It's the typical Jodi Picoult...tugging at those heartstrings. However, no tears were shed. Not her best, not her worst!more
On Wednesday, September 27, 2006 I wrote:

Well I guess I agree with you on this book gizzy.

The writing is sometimes so slow and it was boring on a lot of parts. I did want to know what happened so I finished it. I think this was my second or third book by this author, I did read My Sister's Keeper and liked that much better.
Thanks for sharing.


more
a nice quick read with many twists and turns about a girl who was kidnapped at a young age and doesn't find out until she is 28.more
Jodi Picoult is one of the most popular contemporary authors. I have read and enjoyed (to varying degrees) three of her other novels. For one of my classes at Pitt, we read My Sister's Keeper, or were supposed to. I had read the book prior to taking the course and did not reread it. That one was my favorite of the Picoult books I had read. Imagine my surprise when all of my friends hated it. They said the writing was absolutely atrocious.

In my reading of Vanishing Acts, I paid way more attention to the construction of the novel than I ordinarily do on a first time through a book (in which, unless the story is absolutely awful, I focus on the plot and the characters). I still thought the story itself was engaging, but I definitely found weaknesses in the characterization/writing. The main problem is that, if the fonts were not different for each character, I would constantly have been forgetting which character's point of view I was currently reading. They lack a unique voice. And even when they were freaked out about something, they all continued to read as a bit disaffected.

Although changing the font for each different character is neat, I really think you ought to be able to tell which character is 'speaking' without needing that. Or even without a heading. Also, I have to admit that I was annoyed by the similarity between Andrew's (Delia's father) and Eric's (Delia's fiancee) fonts. Is Picoult (or the publisher) trying to suggest that Delia has serious Elektra complex type daddy issues? Or were they just too lazy to find another font that looked entirely different from the others? There are thousands of fonts; how hard can it be?

All three had two things in common, despite their differing plots: a focus on family and a twist at the very end. The twist here was...pretty much nonexistent. The only things that could maybe called twists are Delia's continual rediscoveries of memories and a 'revelation' that was completely unsurprising given the discourse of the previous chapters.

A decent read on an interesting subject, but not an astounding book. Now for some lyrics! (This song was also selected because alcoholism is a huge topic in this book; about half of the characters are, were or were related to alcoholics).more
This is the second Jodi Picoult book I have read. She was highly recommended to me over and over through the years - and though I am not generally a fan of "ripped from the headlines" type writing - but I do love a good dependable storyteller. A few years ago I gave her a try with the book "Picture Perfect". I really didn't love that book. So I sort of abandoned the idea of reading any more of her books.I think it has been about 3 years since I read that book and decided to give her another chance. This book "vanishing acts" was much much more what I expected to encounter when I first tried her. This story has a nice brisk pace. The story moves along pretty well - there are a few stall outs - mostly when getting sidetracked discussing Native American Folklore. I thought the whole storyline featuring Ruthanne felt a little gratuitous and tacked on. I did get a flavor for why so many people really like her. She does have a gift for fluid writing. I might take on one of her more high profile books someday when I am looking for a fast read.more
An agent recently mentioned that I should read more of Jodi Picoult's books. Instead of women's fiction, she said, I think you write issue fiction, and should brand yourself this way. I'd read Ms. Picoult in the past, but found the situations to soap opera/Oprah - ish, and the stories too angsty for me. But, when I'm given advice, sometimes I take it. So in the last few weeks, I've rounded out my Picoult library with Change of Heart, two weeks ago, and with Vanishing Acts this week.



#Spoiler Alert#



Let me say I think my books are not nearly as angsty. I don't insert issue of the moment into my character's lives and see what happens. Vanishing Acts annoyed me on so many levels. The characters were too passive. Delia is lied too her whole life, but she stands by her father/kidnapper. Delia puts up with her loser/alcoholic fiance. Fitz has always loved Delia and acts as her lap dog until she turnes to him. Her mother is villianized. There's a last minute revelation of sexual abuse (a la Change of Heart). Throw in a little Native American mysticism and jail violence, and stir - instant angsty novel. If you like angsty white people who create their own drama, well, then, this may be up your alley.more
This book could have been good but unfortunately it was unmitigated drivel. I hated the pointless Native American subplot which added nothing to the book and just coopted some pseudospirituality to it.more
Vanishing Acts. Jodie Picoult. 2005. Delia has led a happy, happy life in New England even though she lost her mother when she was young and she occasionally has strange flashbacks. She has been friends forever with Eric who is the father of her young daughter and with Fitz who is also a soul mate. Her peace is shattered when her father is arrested for kidnapping her! Her father is moved to Arizona to stand trial and Delia follows with Eric who will be her father’s lawyer and Fitz who is assigned to write an account of the trial for a local New Hampshire newspaper. As with all of Picoult’s novels the plot unfolds by the points of view from the characters. In addition to Delia, her father and friends we also hear from Delia’s mother. New developments arise in each chapter and I learned more that I ever wanted to know about jail culture and how to make “meth.”I find her books compulsively readable—I think I finished this in three days!more
I have read a couple of Jodi Picoult books now, and this one was good. A well written story by an author who does her research and is not afraid to handle some touchy issues.more
I enjoyed this book. I don't really know what to say about it. It's another typical Jodi Picoult book, if you know what I mean. There are probably many other books out there that can be compared to it.more
Very similar to a lot of other Picoult and I have to say that as soon as a UTI showed up in the girl's medical record my brain immediately leaped to the conclusion that the lawyer eventually reached and I couldn't understand why it was taking them so long to figure it out. So not so much of a last minute twist as Picoult was hoping I think. Perhaps I've just read too much of a similar genre recently!more
I hadn't read Picoult before, I knew of her of course, but I'd always had a vague sense that she wouldn't be to my taste. But I got this book almost for free, and was curious about a best-selling author I'd never tried before. I'm not quite sure what I expected, but Vanishing Acts was a pleasant surprise. She jumps between narrators, and does a good job at keeping each voice distinct. I was able to like the story without necessarily liking all of the people. I was impressed enough that I'll definitely give her work another shot.more
This book is about a man imprisoned for the kidnap of his daughter and the effect the discovery of his act has on her and her family. The story is captivating and because the characters narrate their own story they can share the raw emotion they are experiencing. My only criticism is that I found the lengthy description of life in jail rather harrowing. The graphic details of violence abuse blackmail and racial hatred may be very realistic but it was a little too much reality for me.more
This book was suspenseful from the first pages to the end of the book. I love how the author writes in different fonts for the different characters. I felt like I was able to related to the situation and empathise with each of the characters. This was definitely another great read by Jodi Picoult.more
So well told, draws you in to the characters and the choices each of them have made and are making. Life is messy, and Picoult's books are great because she writes about the mess while also capturing the hope that keeps us all going even when we created the mess we're in. This book touches on relationships, Delia and her father, Delia trying to reconnect with her mother, Delia and Eric and Fitz, Andrew and Concise. It also talks about what we would do for someone we love and how to even begin to explain it to someone 28 years later.more
An absolute wonderful page-turner that once you pick it up, you can't put down. I recommend this book to anyone.more
While some of the plot seemed a bit predictable, Picoult throws in plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading. Like her other books, this one is well-researched and I enjoyed the tidbits about the Hopi, gangs and prisons, bloodhounds and search and rescue. Always something to learn!more
I got this from a friend from my birthday when I was 16 & it was a fab choice!!!I loved it, the fact that Delia was so unaware of the life that she had lead.more
(unabridged audiobook, multiple readers): Delia Hopkins has a pretty ordinary life in Wexton, New Hampshire, that gets turned upside down overnight when her father is arrested for having kidnapped her during a custody visit 28 years ago. The twisty plot and complex character relationships are revealed slowly and deliberately, hooking me from the first chapter. This is my second Picoult book, and like the other (My Sister's Keeper), it is told in a series of first-person narratives, including Delia, her father, her mother, her fiancee, and her best friend. Each character is read by a different person, all of whom were quite good with the exception of Delia, who was almost painful to listen to. Luckily, the story was good enough that I still got sucked in despite her awkward reading. If the two I've read are at all representative of quality, I will definitely be picking up more of Picoult's books in the future.more
I don’t know what I would do if I woke up one day to find out that my entire life had been a lie. What if I woke up to find out that the name that I had gone by for as long as I could remember, wasn’t my real name at all. This has never happened to me, but it is exactly what happened to Delia Hopkins, who believes that she was born and raised in New Hampshire by her single, widowed father. Part of her life was in fact a lie, told to her by her own father. She was actually born in Arizona and her mother is still alive. Her father kidnapped her, changed their names, and moved them as far away as possible for reasons Delia was only beginning to understand. Jodi Picoult weaves a beautiful story of self-discovering, family crisis, and how far love can take all of us. This book faces the reader with the fragile line between morally and legally right; which is something we all have to face.Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors because of her ability to write compelling novels on controversy subjects. This story involving the moral decision of kidnapping your own child from a dangerous environment is counterbalanced with the fact that Delia herself has a young daughter about the age that she was when her father took her. Picoult writes with such vivid language and descriptions that when Delia felt betrayed by her father, so did I. And then when she had to face what she would have done in his place with her own daughter, I was right there with her. There is irony to the story that just turns your insides and makes you think about the people all around you and what their story’s could be. Delia’s job was search and rescue. Her job was to find missing people, when in fact she was a missing person herself. I get goose bumps just thinking of all the people out there who are missing or lost, especially the ones who don’t even know it. My favorite books are the ones that make you feel something true. The ones that make you laugh and make you cry. I read this book and I laughed and cried, making this book one of my favorites. I also enjoyed the mystery and suspense of it all. Jodi Picoult has a way of writing intrigue with twists so that you could think that you have it all figured out; but your wrong. She always changes the ending from where the book is going, so that it end s up being like nothing you could have guessed. It’s thrilling and I love it. This book made me realize, that there are some things in life that you think you know, but you find out you don’t. And it doesn’t matter the most the reason why there was a lie in the first place. What matters the most is that you find out what the truth is at the moment, because only then can you live what you believe and what you know.more
I enjoyed this book. The recorded version had different voices to represent the different characters, so it was easy to keep track of who was telling the story. I did find the way the love triangle situation ended between Delia, Eric, and Fitz to be a bit unbelievable, but otherwise liked the way that this particular book ended.more
The first Jodi Picoult novel I read was My Sister's Keeper; it had been recommended to me by fellow teen oncology patients. Following MSK, I felt the need to snatch up any Picoult novels from my used books stores. None of them, however, have struck quite the same chord with me as MSK. These books are, however, easy to read, fairly interesting and something good to have laying around in case of illness or long car trips. I consider Jodi Picoult my guilty pleasure because her books are not very deep, but they are entertaining.I enjoyed Vanishing Acts because it moved out from the normal New England setting. The characters in Arizona were interesting and I wish there were more of them. The novel as a whole, however, followed along the rest of Picoult's novels and did not stand out very much.more
Load more
scribd