The Vanishers

The Vanishers

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
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From acclaimed novelist and editor of The Believer Heidi Julavits, comes a wildly imaginative novel about grief, female rivalry, and the furious power of a daughter's love.

Julia Severn is a talented student at an elite institute for psychics. When Julia's mentor, the legendary Madame Ackerman, grows jealous of her prot#65533;g#65533;e's talents, she subjects Julia to the painful humiliation of reliving her mother's suicide . . . and then launches a desperate psychic attack.

But Julia's gifts, though a threat to her teacher, prove an asset to others. Soon she's recruited to track down a missing person who might have a connection to her mother. As Julia sifts through ghosts and astral clues, everything she thought she knew about 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.
Publisher: New York : Anchor Books, 2013, c2012.
Edition: 1st Anchor Books ed. --
ISBN: 9780307387363
0307387364
Characteristics: 284 p.

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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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