The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits
A Novel

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The many characters can, at times, bog down the story.


From the acclaimed novelist and The Believer 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.

About Heidi Julavits

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HEIDI JULAVITS is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, The Uses of Enchantment, The Effect of Living Backwards, and The Mineral Palace. Her fiction has appeared in Harper's, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, among other places. She's a founding editor of The Believer magazine and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Manhattan and Maine.
Published March 13, 2012 by Anchor. 306 pages
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction
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AV Club

Below average
Reviewed by Ellen Werncecke on Mar 21 2012

This convenient doubling, while invoked too many times, adds insight into Julia’s life before her attack, but also makes Julia more sympathetic than her depressive myopia allows.

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Below average
Reviewed by Leigh Newman on Mar 26 2012

The many characters can, at times, bog down the story.

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