Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry (watch the trailer)

Published by HarperCollins

Rating: 4.5 stars

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. . . .

Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in 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.

My review:

Though I've been taking a break from blogging, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to read and review this book. The Lace Reader is one of those books that has received a lot of positive buzz and I kept meaning to read it but secretly feared it would not live up to its hype. After reading the first sentences though, I knew I would enjoy it since I'm a huge fan of the 'unreliable narrator' writing style. I do have to say that as the story progressed, I felt like Towner was letting me down a bit by her lack of deception. By the end, I was almost begging for her to lie to me and then when I least expected it - bam! - she went in for the kill. My jaw dropped and I had to stare at the page for a couple minutes to get over my shock. Kudos to Brunonia Barry for that thought-provoking ending (which you'll have to read to believe and even then..... it's still a shock)!

This is not a book that necessarily lends itself to being read in one sitting, and yet I literally could not put it down. What I had thought was a plot-driven book, turned out to be an insightful character study into the minds and hearts of some very strong women. It was the passion and dedication behind their stories that intrigued me most.

I also really loved the dialogue among the characters and the the different dynamics between them. I was even surprised to find a great deal of deadpan humor within their conversations, especially Towner and Rafferty. It was a refreshing break from the disturbing events and intense emotions that are weaved throughout the book.

Another wonderful aspect of the book is the lace reading itself. I tend to enjoy the incorporation of mystical elements when properly executed. The Lace Reader never left me feeling skeptical about the special powers the women in the book possess, almost like an intense case of women's intuition that tranformed into a powerful gift.

In short, The Lace Reader is a wonderful book. There is a little something for everyone within its pages and the ending will leave you breathless. I look forward to reading more from Brunonia in the future.

This post is part of the TLC Book Tours tour for The Lace Reader. Be sure to check out these past tour stops:

Monday, August 24th – books i done read

Wednesday, August 26th – Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

Monday, August 31st - Savvy Verse & Wit

Tuesday, September 1st – Cindy’s Love of Books

Thursday, September 3rd - Eclectic Book Lover

Friday, September 4th – Shhh I’m Reading

Monday, September 7th – Literate Housewife

And upcoming stops:

Thursday, September 10th – The Book Lady’s Blog

Monday, September 14th – Biblioaddict

Tuesday, September 15th – Trish’s Reading Nook

Thursday, September 17th – Books and Movies

Brunonia Barry is on tour again - see if she is coming to your city:
  • 9/8 – Bellingham, WA – Village Books – Reading and Signing
  • 9/10 – Oakland – A Great Good Place for Books – Reading and Signing
  • 9/12 – San Mateo – M is for Mystery…and More – Reading and Signing
  • 9/14 – Los Angeles – Vroman’s Bookstore – Reading and Signing
  • 9/15—Edwards, CO – VIP Customer Book Club Event
  • 9/20—Andover, MA – Meet the Author Benefit for PATHS
  • 10/12 Mequon, WI Next Chapter Bookshop
  • 10/13 Dallas, TX Legacy Books
  • 10/20 – Lexington, MA Library
  • 10/22- Swampscott, MA Library
  • 10/27- Destination Salem Lunch, Hampton Falls Library
  • 11/18th 10 AM, Exeter Library, Exeter, NH.

Some more noteworthy news:
  • Soon, will also have a downloadable t-shirt iron-on design and printable signage for booksellers.
  • In the September issue of Book Page, there will be a sweepstakes in which the grand prize is a trip for two to Salem, two nights at The Hawthorne Hotel, and a guided Lace Reader tour of Salem with Brunonia.

Big thanks to Trish for organizing this great tour and HarperCollins for my review copy!