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the vanishing act

September 24th, 2012 by erin

I am still working on a long post about books that is not post-shaped yet but in the meantime I am delighted that I can finally recommend a book I read months and months ago now and promptly fell in love with and then pouted quite a bit when I realized I wouldn’t be able to push it properly on people until September.

And now it is somehow September, so now you can read The Vanishing Act by Mette Jakobsen.

I’ve had trouble explaining the book to people. I mostly just want to hand it to potential readers and smile and walk away. The Vanishing Act is about a girl named Minou who lives on a small island with her father, along with a man known as Boxman (so dubbed because he builds boxes for magicians, of the sawing-ladies-in-half-variety), a priest and a dog called No Name. A year ago, Minou’s mother disappeared along with the turtle.

It feels like a fable. It has so many of my favorite things on one tiny snow-covered island wrapped in melancholy.

I’m going to share several covers because I can. It has been out in Australia for a while so I was given the Australian version back in February. I made a pot of cherry green tea and curled up in my office and read it in one sitting. I am not a particularly fast reader but it is a perfectly sized one-sitting sort of book. That cover looks like this:

I’ve been getting a lot of books to possibly blurb, you know, those quotes from other authors that boil down to “yay, you should read this!” A lot of them I simply haven’t had the time to read but I’ve also learned from this process that while I like a lot of books the ones I love are fewer. And in order for me to send a quote it has to be a book I both love and wouldn’t mind having my name on, because it seems my name could very well end up on it.

I am delighted and honored to have my name on The Vanishing Act.

This is my entire unedited blurb, for the record:

This book is a precious thing. I want to keep it in a painted box with a raven feather and sea-polished stones, taking it out when I feel the need to visit Minou on her island again. The best stories change you. I am not the same after THE VANISHING ACT as I was before.

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12 Responses to “the vanishing act”

  1. Melanie Cole says:

    Sounds incredible, can’t wait to read it!

  2. Marcheline says:

    Dang. I’ve already picked up my books for the road trip to NC tomorrow. Oh well, when I get home again… something to look forward to!

    Have you ever read any of Anne Rivers Siddons’ books? “King’s Oak” will set you back on your heels and wring out your soul.

  3. Hannah says:

    Your name is also featured on Goodreads when you look up The Vanishing Act! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13562763-the-vanishing-act

  4. Zac says:

    Read it, liked it, would certainly recommend it to others, but I didn’t love it.

    Probably my fault, because I’d waited so long for it and my expectations would have grown enormously, but I would certainly recomment it.

    If you loved TNC, you’ll love TVA.

  5. I like the last ‘blue’ cover. Looks like a ’50′s Caldicott Winner (spelling?) – Sounds like Clifford and Emily Elizabeth on Birdwell Island but a whole lot more poetic and evocative than a cartoon….unless it’s like one a them real old 3D Popeye cartoons. They make me cry………. (Vanishing Act ….will remember that)

  6. Anna says:

    Love the paperback cover and it sounds like a beautiful story. Just what I need!

  7. Lily Rose says:

    Delightful timing. I am stuck in an hotel room in Toronto for a couple of evenings. And off to the Kindle store I go! (I love buying books in bed.)

  8. I yammer lots about books on my blog and wrote the publisher to beg a review copy of ‘The Vanishing Act’. Never mind I’m almost literally swimming in review copies now.

    I’ll have to build an ARC.

    har. har.

    It’s on my calendar to come see you in Oswego next month! You! In Oswego! I cannot wait. I’ll come early so I can sit up front and hear you properly. So if you’d like to throw out candy or something sparkly I’ll be there to catch it.

    Huzzah!

  9. A girl from far away says:

    Hey!

    I just wanted to compliment you on the night circus. A bit late, I know, but my God that book is amazing. You deserve a medal for writing such an amazing story. I live in Africa, in a place where tales like yours are scarce. Your book changed my life. So thank you, Erin Morgenstern. Thank you.

    Lots of love :)

  10. Oh I so understand that bit about how many books you love versus the number you like. I hope as a writer I can remember this often reflects as much about the reader as the writing. We can’t help the books we love, and so many factors are involved. Many of the books I only liked are smack dab on the Love shelf for thousands of other people. And many I love get a meh from other readers. I dislike the stars-system for rating books because of this. Being stingy with 5 stars is the only way to properly reflect how stingy I am with love. But I am uber generous with like and want to loudly applaud when a book earns that as well.

  11. Vivian says:

    Hello Erin.
    I just wanted to know where I can find ‘The Vanishing Act’, and if it’s in a similar context to ‘The Night Circus’. That same whimsical twisted beauty.

    thanks.

  12. Jazmynn says:

    I just want to say thank you! Not only because is the “Night Circus” the only book I can read again and again but now I have a wonderful author who I can follow, read her books and the books she recommends!

    I have order and am still waiting for the Vanishing Act. Cannot wait!