Monday, March 09, 2009

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

With all the posting going on about Jodi Picoult's new book Handle with Care, I felt in the mood to read another of her books last week. I have amassed quite a collection of her books from friends and giveaways. I think I have 11 of them and I have only purchased one which was a bargain book. I decided to read Vanishing Acts this time.

I found it to be just as likable as the other books I've read by her. It obviously follows her same formula: controversial situation, multiple character viewpoints, a legal issue and courtroom drama.

In Vanishing Acts, Delia Hopkins is 32 years old, has a 5 year old daughter with her fiance, Eric (who she's known for 28 years, they grew up best friends). She has another great best friend in Fitz who also grew up with her and Eric. Delia's father, Andrew is an upstanding citizen and great father. He always gave Delia everything she ever needed, love, and attention. Until one day, the authorities show up at the front door to arrest him for kidnapping, HER kidnapping! It turns out this is the truth, Andrew Hopkins did kidnap his daughter from her mother and we find out why in the rest of the book.

There are some really interesting ideas and juxtapositions in this book. Eric is a recovering alcoholic who takes on the case when Delia begs him to help defend her father. It turns out that Delia's mother was an alcoholic as well and that is one of the reasons Delia's father takes her. Also, Delia's occupation is search and rescue with her trained dog. Ironic, since she had no idea she was lost herself.

While this book is not quite as engrossing as some of Picoult's other books, I still enjoyed reading it. There is a section about the Hopi and a character named Ruthann that seemed really thrown in there. I know Picoult likes to do a lot of research for her books and I felt like this addition was just her obligatory "I must show you I have researched Arizona and its native cultures and throw that in this book." Obviously, the addition to the story is a little deeper than that, but it didn't quite fit for me. I liked the character of Ruthann, but it seemed to not really be a great part of the story for me.

I'm number 37 on the request list for Handle With Care so I'm looking forward to getting that one soon!

My other Picoult reviews:
My Sister's Keeper
Plain Truth
Salem Falls
The Pact
Change of Heart


allisonmariecat said...

Wait, Delia's father was arrested when Delia was an adult? That really bugs me if that's the case, because the statute of limitations should have run out many years earlier.

Okay, this is officially driving me to check more reviews....

Holly said...

Yes, 28 years had passed since the alleged kidnapping took place. I think they somehow got around the statute of limitations. I know it was explained in the book, I just can't remember the logistics of it. :-)

Jordyn said...

Hahaha, awesome. I just read Plain Truth (review up soon). It was the first of Picoult's books I'd read and I was happily surprised. Liked it. A lot. Want to read more of her books... maybe this one?