Maggie O'farrell - The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox

Episodes

EpisodeTitleRepeatedComments
01Let Us Begin With Two Girls At A Dance20160704 (BBC7)
20160705 (BBC7)

Esme remembers the troubles of childhood, whilst Iris contends with life today.

'Let us begin with two girls at a dance. One sits on a chair, opening and shutting a dance-card with gloved fingers. The other stands beside her, watching the dance unfold: the circling couples, the bounce of the floor. It begins here'.

The haunting story of a terrible family secret and a life stolen.

Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron begin Maggie O'Farrell's highly acclaimed novel set between the conventions of 1930's Edinburgh and the freedoms of today.

Abridged by Sally Marmion

Producer: Di Speirs

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006.

02You've Got A Visitor20160705 (BBC7)
20160706 (BBC7)
Will Iris be able to care for Esme, after she is discharged from a psychiatric unit?

By Maggie O'Farrell, abridged in 10 parts by Sally Marmion.

2: Esme Lennox has been confined to a psychiatric hospital for 60 years. Her great-niece Iris has only just learned of her existence.

Read by Hannah Gordon and Frances Grey.

03Daughters Who Just Don't Listen20160706 (BBC7)
20160707 (BBC7)
Iris tries to find out why her great-aunt Esme was put into a psychiatric unit.

By Maggie O'Farrell, abridged in 10 parts by Sally Marmion.

3: Why was Esme incarcerated in an asylum? Iris goes in search of some answers and discovers a shameful past.

Read by Hannah Gordon and Frances Grey.

By Maggie O'Farrell, abridged in 10 parts by Sally Marmion.

3: Why was Esme incarcerated in an asylum? Iris goes in search of some answers and discovers a shameful past.

Read by Hannah Gordon and Frances Grey.

04The Granddaughter Of An Advocate20160707 (BBC7)
20160708 (BBC7)
Esme is released from the psychiatric unit and thinks about the past.

By Maggie O'Farrell, abridged in 10 parts by Sally Marmion.

4: As Esme gets her first taste of freedom for over 60 years, forgotten memories of her privileged past are reawakened. Meanwhile, Iris must find her a home.

Read by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.

05I Would Like To Go To The Sea20160708 (BBC7)
20160709 (BBC7)
Released from the psychiatric unit, Esme returns to an old family haunt.

By Maggie O'Farrell, abridged by Sally Marmion.

5/10. Esme returns to an old family haunt.

Read by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.

06Like Sugar In Water20160711 (BBC7)
20160712 (BBC7)
Kitty remembers how her sister Esme's behaviour reflected badly on her.

Iris has rescued her newly discovered great-aunt Esme from the institution where she's been for 61 years. But only her grandmother Kitty - whose mind is now fractured with Alzheimer's - remembers the whole story of her sister's past.

Poignant story of the shameful treatment of unconventional women in the 1930s and the lengths a woman might go to, for the thing she wants most.

Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron continue Maggie O'Farrell's highly acclaimed novel set between the conventions of 1930's Edinburgh and the freedoms of today.

Abridged by Sally Marmion

Producer: Di Speirs

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006.

07I'm Not Going To Get Married, To Anyone20160712 (BBC7)
20160713 (BBC7)
To her family's surprise, Esme has a highly desirable suitor.

To her family's surprise, Esme has a highly desirable suitor. Read by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.

08She Wouldn't Stop Screaming20160713 (BBC7)
20160714 (BBC7)
Esme's tragic fate is sealed amid the New Year celebrations in Edinburgh.

Esme's tragic fate is sealed amid the New Year celebrations in Edinburgh. Read by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.

09
0920160714 (BBC7)Secrets are revealed as Kitty and Esme's memories collide. Read by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.
0920160714 (BBC7)
20160715 (BBC7)
Secrets are revealed as Kitty and Esme's memories collide.
10
1020160715 (BBC7)After 61 years, Esme knows the truth and confronts her sister, Kitty. Concluded by Hannah Gordon, Frances Grey and Eleanor Bron.
1020160715 (BBC7)
20160716 (BBC7)
After 61 years, Esme knows the truth and confronts her sister, Kitty.