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The Lace Reader: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 29, 2008
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Read the full first chapter [PDF] of The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry.
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Top Customer Reviews
At first, Towner seems slightly flat and slow to develop, but by the end, a look back to understand the "whole" Towner reveals her depth. She and Rafferty are memorable and sympathetic (I did wish for more of Rafferty), but even secondary characters like Eva, May, Ann, and Jack are given the breath of realism. The setting is almost a character in itself, a living patchwork of place and time.
Those who call this book a "page-turner" seem to be labeling it from the perspective of having finished it. The swelling tension of the last hundred pages is difficult to put down, but the first hundred certainly do not skim past (they might more so the second time around as one scours for clues to the truth). This book creeps at first, wraps tendrils around its readers to pull us in and under, slowly builds our trust in Towner as narrator, even though she's told us from page one, "I lie all the time." By mid-book, we see the world through Towner's eyes and forget that she's warned us not to.
Brunonia Barry astutely writes Rafferty's voice more straightforward and less poetic than Towner's. The two chapters toward the end, which come from two secondary characters, jarred me a bit, but their perspectives are necessary to a full understanding of events.Read more ›
The book starts when she receives a call from her brother telling her that her 80-something-year-old Great Aunt Eva is missing and she must return home. Towner is recovering from a surgical procedure and had been thinking of the gift that her Great Aunt Eva had recently sent to her. It was a lace-making pillow, used for making Ipswich lace. The lace making and the reading of lace had been a tradition of the Whitney women, and Towner was no exception. Although she wants no part of it anymore, she loves her aunt and feels she has to face her bad memories and go home. Salem and Yellow Dog Island are places filled with fearful bad memories.
Towner returns after being away for over 15 years and is immediately entrenched in all the troubles of the past. It is interesting to follow the writing of author Barry as she writes through the eyes of Towner, who sometimes lives in her dreams of the past. The story is kept fresh with trying to determine if what Towner is thinking is real, or the memories from childhood twisted over time.
Of course there is the love interest in Rafferty, the detective who is assigned to the case, as well as all the other quirky characters. Salem women who are Witches and selling their wares in the small shops on the square, and the women of Yellow Dog Island and their lace, making kept this book moving along nicely.
The Lace Reader is quite an interesting book.Read more ›
The point of view passes between Towner, the main character, and the narrator. Towner is a self described liar, and the narrator always tells the truth, you must pay careful attention to the words if you want to understand when and even if Towner knows she is lying. Set in Salem Massachusetts, Towner returns home for her Aunt Eve's funeral, and must learn to allow the lace to tell its story so she can finally see the truth of who she is and what she and the women in her family have survived by having each other. The lace reveals the future and unveils the past.
If you enjoyed `The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood', `The Lovely Bones', or `The Bluest Eyes', this novel is for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read it from the library. I enjoyed it very much and I look forward to rereading it again soon.Published 4 days ago by kathleenap
Awesome book!! Loved the historical aspect too!! We were in Salem a couple of years ago!! I really enjoyed reading it!!! Thank you so much!!Published 6 days ago by Teresa
Witches in Salem, Calvinists (followers of Cal, not actually Calvinists in the historical sense), twins, and lots of strange hallucinations. Read morePublished 7 days ago by frogsster
I nearly gave up on reading this,even more than halfway through. I'm glad I finished it, though. The ending was worth it. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
Captivating story. Well written. Great plot twists and turns especially near the end. The bits on lace reading and its history were interesting too, I'd never heard of lace reading... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Gwen
A book you don't want to put down. I read it well into the night. A very extremely surprising endingPublished 9 days ago by Montie Hopkins