Title: Vanishing Acts
Author: Jodi Picoult
In my children’s literature class in library school, I was required to read a Jodi Picoult book called The Pact. I was intrigued with style so I picked up another and another and then suddenly I was running through her bibliography. My sister and my mom got involved and it turned in to a massive book swap.
I sort of stopped reading her books some time last year. I had a lot more on my to-read list, but I suddenly lost interest. The reason her books are interesting is that you get to ask yourself “what would I do in this situation” but after awhile, you realize how formulaic her writing is and the ethical questions get old.
Which is why it probably took me three false starts to finish Vanishing Acts. It’s the story of a woman who learns her father stole her away from her mother when she was just four and gives her a brand new identity. For twenty 28 years he got away with it. But the book follows the time after he gets caught and goes on trial for his actions. His reason for doing it was her mother was an alcoholic and couldn’t take care of her.
The premise is weak. You’re supposed to side with him but I kept thinking, “why didn’t he try to go through legal means first?” The most exciting parts for me were those of the father’s time in prison, but perhaps that’s because I watch a lot of Lockup and love that stuff.
I’ve probably got a third of Picoult’s body of work to finish still, and after reading this, I’m not sure when I’ll tackle it either. Books that you can predict the ending can be boring at times. And there’s a lot more out there worthy of my time.