Item description for Disappearing Act by Beatrice Colin...
After an accident in the ring, Little Wing can no longer continue her life as a tightrope walker and circus performer. She lives alone at the top of a tower block slated for demolition.
When she receives a package that contains a memoir written by Helena, the mother she never knew, Little Wing slowly begins to piece together the strange tale of her conception. From the murderous environs of Valentine's Circus to a bleak island off the west coast of Scotland, Helena charts her love affair with Constantin, a contemporary alchemist. While reading her mother's memoir, however, the date of tower block's demolition approaches and so, just, like her mother before her, Little Wing has to choose between fact and fiction.
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Beatrice Colin was born in London and raised in Scotland. She has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for publications including "The Guardian," and as a playwright, writing radio plays for the BBC.
Beatrice Colin currently resides in Glasgow. Beatrice Colin was born in 1963.
Reviews - What do customers think about Disappearing Act?
Don Quixote for girls Dec 21, 2002
Friends raved about it. But I must admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first picked up this book. What could circuses and alchemy have to do with each other?- let alone a story of a woman disabled by a circus accident. Two pages in however ...Wow! The wild storyline took off and I had to leave my prejudices far behind. What really makes this novel so original and comical is its colorful array of characters. There is Constantine - the alchemist, perpetually failing in his attempts to capture the elixir of life; Clara Valentine - the shop-a-holic wife of the circus master now fallen from the grace of the high wire and spending her former glories; Julie the brow beaten social worker who takes her charges to shopping malls for self esteem building sessions - a wonderful array of tragic-comic incidental characters who will ensure , when you come across them, that you put the book down just to laugh for five minutes. But most of all there is Little Wing, the story's protagonist.
Wing - who lost the use of her legs and now discovers the secret of her conception and abandonment , while awaiting the verdict on her social housing - who fights her social worker with an almost Rabelaisian wit. She is a modern-day Quixote beset by the banality of the modern age. Her ironic stance against her fate reveals a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor.
If I said that it was the characters that make this story I'm probably wrong. There are some big themes running through this deceptively playful novel, which I won't even try to summarize for fear of looking silly. What is for sure though is that the story carries its uplifting message as much through the sheer vitality of the writing as through the manic inventiveness of the storytelling.
A freakishly wonderful novel.
A class act Dec 19, 2002
A cast of eccentrics, dual plots that suspend belief, and comic touches that made me laugh out loud. Disappearing Act drew me in to a weird and wonderful world of romance, realism, mystery and science, all the way to its poignant end. A fun, fast, and interesting read.
Couldn't put it down . . . Dec 16, 2002
This book was given to me by a friend who devoured it in one sitting. I did the same. A book within a book, it's a tightrope walk of a read, compelling, funny but very moving. The imagery such as the rusty old funfair and the dancing bear stay with you. I loved it.