Extended Audio Sample

Download The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O’Farrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,034 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maggie O’Farrell Narrator: Anne Flosnik Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $16.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Iris Lockhart is busy tending to the everyday business of her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment when she receives a stunning phone call. Her great-aunt Esme, whom she never even knew existed, is being released from Cauldstone Hospital—where she has been locked away for over sixty years. Iris’ grandmother, Kitty, always claimed to be an only child. But Esme’s papers prove she is Kitty’s sister, and Iris can see the shadow of her dead father in Esme’s face.

Esme has been labeled harmless, sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But Esme is still a stranger, a family member never mentioned by the family, and one who is sure to bring life-altering secrets with her when she leaves the ward. If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?

Weaving Esme’s tragic story together with Iris’ modern dilemmas, O’Farrell’s gothic, intricate, cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt listeners long past its final page.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “O’Farrell is a very visual writer, creating dead-on images…This talent serves her well at the novel’s startling and darkly rewarding finale.”

    New York Times

  • “Radiates the kind of energy that marks a classic…Think Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Charlotte Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ or Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, stories that illuminate the suffering quietly endured by women in polite society…It’s a breathtaking, heart-breaking creation…[a] fierce, engrossing novel.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Thoughtful, warm, elegantly written and totally shocking…a fantastic read, a real page-turner.”

    Daily Express

  • “An intricate, eloquent novel of family malice, longings, and betrayal….O’Farrell maintains a high level of tension throughout, and the conclusion is devastating.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “What a haunting story is that of Esme Lennox…Anne Flosnik does an excellent job with a story that shifts time periods and is told in a range of voices…Her flow of words creates a powerful story-current that pulls the listener along inexorably. Once begun, it’s hard to turn this book off.”


  • “[A] finely wrought family exposé…the psychological suspense along the way should satisfy those looking for both strong plot and characterization.”

    Library Journal

  • “The novel is brilliant in every way…Maggie O’Farrell has written a taut, fragile mystery of relationships and deception.”

    Literary Review

  • “O’Farrell’s fourth novel brilliantly illustrates her talent for gradually revealing her character’s inner lives...A gripping read with superbly crafted scenes that will blaze in the reader’s memory long after the novel is returned to the shelf.”


  • “This slow-building, impressionistic work amply rewards dedicated readers with a moving human drama.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • AWashington Post Book World Best Book of the Year
  • AWall Street Journal Bestseller
  • ABarnes & Noble Recommends Selection
  • AnAudioFile Earphones Awardwinner
  • AnAudie Award Finalist
  • Finalist for the Amazon Best Books of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Joan | 2/6/2014

    " Interesting story idea. Good story telling- I like the mystery of figuring out what happened to Esme. The only thing that bugged me is that the ending keeps the mystery and doesn't really pull all of the ideas together into a neat package- which, I guess, was sort of the point. Life doesn't always fit into a neat package. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Pam | 2/2/2014

    " Caution! Set aside several hours because you won't be able to put it down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Anita | 1/30/2014

    " Liked the story, but not the way it was written. Definitely a good conversation book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kendra Herlig | 1/28/2014

    " Wow. This was a great book! I almost gave it 5 stars... And I don't do too many 5-star ratings! t must have been very challenging for O'Farrell to write from the perspective of an Alzheimer's patient and someone who has been in a "home" for 60 years. Very well written. Interesting and heart-wrenching tale. "

  • > Show All
Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations