Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

I finally finished The Lace Reader. Whew! What a ride that book was. First off I want to say that I did enjoy it very much. That being said, there are a few comments I'd like to make. First of all I picked up this book because I had read good reviews. I don't know anyone personally who has read it. I'm glad I did pick it up because now I get to share it with some friends.

This book takes place in Salem, MA. Most of us have heard the stories of the famous "witch" trials that took place. I've never been to that part of the country but I will be visiting Boston next week, which isn't far from Salem. It's about a woman, Towner, who is in her early 30's but for some reason I kept wanting to age her. I felt that she had to be older than me. In reading the author's notes I see that the time frame for this book was about 1996. This would make sense as it would make Towner older than me now. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but it does in my head!

Towner comes home for the first time in many years because her great-aunt (the relationship is still not entirely clear) is missing. She has to face her mother, her aunt, and the memories of her twin sister for the first time. Towner is haunted by her past, including an abusive uncle who is now an extreme religious fanatic, starting his own witch hunts. Her old boyfriend is still around causing minor trouble for her burgeoning relationship with the town detective.

The twists and turns in this story were what kept it moving. Just when I'd figure something out, I'd be shown the opposite was true. Of all the characters, I enjoyed Rafferty the most. He was the detective, hopelessly infatuated with Towner even though he knew the truth of her past. He knew more than I as the reader did. I couldn't relate too much to Towner as I've never been in such emotional turmoil for such a long period of time.

This novel is full of clever writing and a very vivid setting. I really have quite the image in my head of Yellow Dog Island and surrounding areas. I have a few questions though! Wouldn't it be great to sit down with the author sometime? I'd post my questions but I don't want to give anything away. I'd love to hear what you think!

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