What to Read: Book Reviews From Real Simple Readers
The Vanishing Act, by Mette Jakobsen
Reviewer: Lauren Pinchin; age 28; married; Eugene, Oregon.
Lauren’s assessment: On a tiny, secluded island, a 12-year-old girl named Minou lives with her father, a magician, and a clever dog. They are determined to find Minou’s mother, who, a year earlier, left the house carrying a big, black umbrella and never returned. Reading the book is a bit like gazing inside a snow globe: Even though their world has been shaken by a devastating loss, the characters remain motionless—trapped in a strange place, with no ability to move forward. In fact, seeing the world through Minou’s eyes brought me back to my childhood and what it felt like to watch my parents’ marriage fall apart and my life as I knew it disappear.
To buy: $24, amazon.com.
When it comes to the do’s and don’ts, you’ve got lots of questions. Here, solutions for making the season merry and bright.