The vanishing act / Mette Jakobsen.

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Booklist Reviews 2012 September #1

On a tiny island populated only by herself, her father, a priest, and a magician, 12-year-old Minou waits for her mother to return. The night the two of them joined Boxman the Magician and his dog, No-Name, in a jauntily presented evening of magic and music, Minou's mother failed to come back to their lighthouse home. While everyone else believes her mother purposely wandered off into the sea or tragically fell from the island's highest cliff, Minou prefers to think that her mother simply managed to escape to another life. Moreover, she is certain that she'll come back once she's had her fill of the world. When the body of a young boy, not much older than Minou herself, washes up on their shore, both Minou and her father are forced to confront their own loss, though each attacks the problem in markedly different ways. Jakobsen's debut novel is a delectable delight, a fetching fable that is both heartbreaking in its poignancy and breathtaking in its delicacy. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2012 September #2

Jakobsen's debut novel offers a dance between fantasy and reality on a tiny, remote island that's home to a handful of people seeking refuge from their experiences in "the war" (presumably World War II). The story is told through the voice of young Minou, whose father, claiming to be a descendant of Descartes, attempts to live his life by pure reason. Minou's mother, on the other hand, thrives on flights of fancy and does her best to give the artist in her soul free rein. One day, Mother suddenly vanishes—and a year later a dead boy in a boat arrives on shore. Minou strives to deal with these puzzling events, as do her quirky neighbors, in their equally puzzling little island world. VERDICT Fairy tale or fable? Either way, Jakobsen's work evokes the mysteries of a snowy, faraway outpost where people seem to have settled on "living the questions." This unusual journey will appeal to readers who appreciate a mix of fantasy, philosophy, and ambiguity.—­Susanne Wells, Indianapolis P.L. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PW Reviews 2012 July #2

Jakobsen's debut novel is the refreshingly pared-down story of one girl's tiny world and the life lessons available in the smallest of existences. A year after Minou's Mama disappeared from the tiny island where she and her Papa make their home, the body of a dead boy washes up on shore. Everyone else on the island—Priest, Boxman, and Papa—believes that Mama is dead, but Minou remains unconvinced. Following the logic-based deductions imparted to her by her philosopher father, Minou relives the events leading up to Mama's disappearance, searching for signs and hopeful that the dead boy may provide a clue. The night before Mama left, she, Minou, and Boxman, a circus man with a broken heart, had collaborated on a dangerous act that made Mama vanish, and Mama's yearning for an existence outside the island is made painfully clear. The sweet yet pragmatic 12-year-old girl watches Papa's search for "the absolute truth" grate against Mama's love for the imagined, slowly unraveling their partnership. Jakobsen creates a lot with a little and builds on universals, proving that some truths are, in fact, fundamental. Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC