from READING GROUP CHOICES NEWSLETTER, September, 2009
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Every gift has a price...
Every piece of lace has a secret...
My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time...
This New York Times bestseller has drawn comparisons to Rebecca and The Thirteenth Tale --- a modern-day gothic story that follows Towner Whitney, a troubled woman who can divine the future. Towner hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in patterns of lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations. But the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem, and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.
The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction, but as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brunonia Barry studied literature and creative writing at Green Mountain College in Vermont and at the University of New Hampshire. She has created Brain Teaser puzzles for Smart Games and lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her husband and their beloved golden retriever, Byzantium.
Barry gives the story the perfect, eerie setting that lends itself to the mystery and odd things that happen. Of course, not only her description make the setting but putting it in Salem, Massachusetts seals the deal. The fact that the women in this family have a unique talent of being able to see the future in lace patterns is a secret that goes back for hundreds of years in their family. That part threw me at first but when I saw how each chapter started with a "lesson" in lace reading, it started to make sense.... FOR THE STORY, that is.
The characters are all well-developed and ones that I was curious to know more about. The lead character, Towner Whitney, tells most of the story and I liked her because she wasn't perfect. In fact, we learned that when she was 17 she had suffered from depression and would hallucinate about things. This made great sense to me considering her twin sister committed suicide and Towner got so bad that they had her enter a hospital for treatment and even shock therapy as well as for her own safety.
Towner's Aunt Eva is missing and so she returns to Salem but not without reservations. Her brother had called her and she felt it was her duty to come. She stays at her aunt's house while they try to find her. When things begin to go awry after Towner comes back, she begins to wonder if she is going through the same thing that effected her following her sister's suicide. Is she seeing Aunt Eva or a ghost? Is she imagining it...or, as I thought, telling lies about it?
Other characters that especially interested me were Aunt Eva who was somewhat quirky but dear at the same time as you learn from hearing others talk about her. Police Officer Rafferty also tells parts of the story and is helpful in investigating Eva's mysterious disappearance.
What part does the lace reading play in the story? Is Aunt Eva found or not? What is Towner telling in the story that is true and what is not true as she warns you about on the very first page of the book? So many questions, not many answers unless you read the book. I think this would make a good book club book as a lot of discussion can come from it. So I return to my first question in this review...was it a book for me? I think it I answer that it will tell you too much and I have already given you enough to be curious about. Read THE LACE READER and decide for yourself.
at Harper Collins Publishing, I have five
copies of THE LACE READER to give away!
--U. S. RESIDENTS ONLY, SORRY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL IN YOUR COMMENT
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE
OR THEY WILL COUNT AS ONE!
HOW TO ENTER:
+ ONE MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON IF YOU FOLLOW AND HOW (AND THANKS FOR PUTTING ME OVER 400...GOING FOR 500??)
+ONE MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK AND LEAVE A LINK
+ONE MORE ENTRY: GO TO HARPER COLLINS WEBSITE HERE AND LOOK AROUND AT THE LACE READER PAGE AS WELL AS EXPLORE NEW RELEASES OR UPCOMING BOOKS AND NAME A HARPER COLLINS BOOK THAT LOOKS INTERESTING TO YOU!
6PM, EST, SEPTEMBER 22