The Vanishers

The Vanishers

[a Novel]

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
4
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From the acclaimed novelist and The Believe r editor HEIDI JULAVITS, a wildly imaginative and emotionally intense novel about mothers, daughters, and the psychic damage women can inflict on one another.
 
Is the bond between mother and daughter unbreakable, even by death?
    
Julia Severn is a student at an elite institute for psychics. Her mentor, the legendary Madame Ackermann, afflicted by jealousy, refuses to pass the torch to her young disciple. Instead, she subjects Julia to the humiliation of reliving her mother's suicide when Julia was an infant. As the two lock horns, and Julia gains power, Madame Ackermann launches a desperate psychic attack that leaves Julia the victim of a crippling ailment.
    
Julia retreats to a faceless job in Manhattan. But others have noted Julia's emerging gifts, and soon she's recruited to track down an elusive missing person--a controversial artist who might have a connection to her mother. As Julia sifts through ghosts and astral clues, everything she thought she knew of her mother is called into question, and she discovers that her ability to know the minds of others--including her own--goes far deeper than she ever imagined.
    
As powerful and gripping as all of Julavits's acclaimed novels, The Vanishers is a stunning meditation on grief, female rivalry, and the furious power of a daughter's love.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, c2012.
ISBN: 9780385523813
0385523815
Branch Call Number: FICTION JUL
Characteristics: 284 p. ; 25 cm.

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SusanJoslyn
Aug 22, 2012

did not like the first page so did not read

c
cmwallsm
May 19, 2012

Like other reviewers I find this novel difficult to describe, and/or complicated. Definitely intriguing and on the whole I enjoyed it, but there may of been a little something missing to bring it together as a cohesive and understandable whole. Though, I'm willing to admit I may have missed it.

j
jadavies
May 18, 2012

This was an interesting read with lots of thought provoking ideas. Unfortunately, it was too complicated to really understand exactly what was going on. So, in a nutshell, an intriguing but frustrating read!

Cdnbookworm Apr 20, 2012

This was a very odd novel. The main character Julia Severn is a student at a college for psychics. She has been chosen to be a stenographer for one of the professors Madame Ackermann, writing down her psychic experiences. But there develops antigonism between her and the professor when her powers seem to be growing stronger, while the professor's wane. Julia is also still struggling with her mother's suicide which occurred when she was an infant.
When Madame Ackermann seems to have launched a psychic attack on Julia, causing her to develop a variety of ailments, Julia takes a leave of absence and takes a NYC job modeling rugs. But others come to Julia, offering a cure in exchange for use of her talents. As Julia takes the cure, she also examines her psychic experiences, ponders her issues with her mother, and learns about her relationships with others from those women she meets in psychic experiences, to her father.
A detached sort of book, even though the reader sees things through Julia's eyes, I always felt a step removed from her as a character. As Julia struggles with her emotions around her mother and deals with her father's emotional barricades, she also feels both vulnerable and powerful. This is a very hard novel to describe.

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