Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry



Pages - 390

Published by Harper Collins in 2009

Challenges - 100+

First paragraph: 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.

Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I was struggling with this book. I didn't believe it was the book's fault, I actually thought it was something to do with my state of mind at the time. I had been desperate to read this book since I first saw it advertised and I may have built it up more than it actually was. I think I may have even fabricated what it was actually about it, but the story seemed a little different to how I remember raving about it! After reading a couple of other reviews, readers have recommended keep going past page 80 and now that I think about that is exactly where the story started to take off. So it wasn't me, it was the book!

This is the story of Towner Whitney. Towner comes from a long line of women who can read the future by reading the patterns in lace. Towner turns her back on her history by leaving Salem and vowing never to return and never to read lace again, after her world crashes around her at fifteen.

Yet Towner realises it would be impossible to stay away for ever, especially when her great aunt Eva disappears. Towner becomes frantic and returns to help the search, she is then pulled back into her past she has spent so many years trying to forget. Towner feels trapped, but which way will she run.

There is a lot more to this story than the brief description I have given you, but I really don't want to give away any spoilers and there are lots of twists and turns in the story that I really wasn't expecting. So this is just so difficult to review. Everytime I want to say something about it I have to stop myself as I will give secrets away.

I loved reading about Salem, I know I have a spooky fascination with the town and all that happened there and I devour quickly any books connected with Salem and the witches. What bothers me with my obsession with Salem, is now having the knowledge that women are still treated in this manner in some areas of the world and I feel sad that society has not moved on.

Towner is a very complex character who has a lot of issues. I am not sure if I liked her or not. I definitely didn't like her to begin with, but by the end of the book, I sat back and thought OK, now I understand her motives. She behaved the way she did as she had suffered so much during her younger years. I just found that you didn't get to know the real Towner until the end of the story and that is quite difficult when it is the main character, but it fits with the tangled roots of the story.

I found the book dealt with a lot of serious issues that I really wasn't expecting and it opened my eyes a little. There is so much in it, that all seems to come to a head at the end, where you will find yourself looking back at the book and seeing where the clues were hidden. I almost feel like I should read the book again, so I can understand it better.

So I would say this book is a little bit of a slow burner, that ignites furiously by the end. If you can get past the first 80 pages you will really enjoy it.


15 comments:

  1. Oh no, I give up so much faster than that. Still it sounds good

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  2. It does sound good. I finally, finally finished The Resurrectionist yesterday. I literally said a great big WHAT???? at the end. So gutted with that one.

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  3. Ooo! Sounds good - a glowing review in the end!

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  4. I've had this one on my tbr list for ages, I'm good at perservering with slow starts so hopefully I'll find it an enjoyable read too

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  5. Hm. Beautiful cover, interesting idea, but I'm not sure I have the time now to sit through the first 80 pages. Not with school starting. Maybe one day.

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  6. Hi Viviene! I don't think I have the stamina for persisting until the 80th page. Most of the time, I give up if the book fails to sustain my interest after 5 or so pages. It's a good thing that we have dedicated book reviewers like you, Viviene, who can give us an idea of how the book really goes until the end. Thanks for the review!

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  7. This sounds like such a good book but with new baby and all, I'm thinking I should hold off. :)

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  8. I've ordered this book from Amazon and can't wait to read it! Thanks for your review!

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  9. I won this a while ago. I'm glad to know it's slow to start, so I'll know to stick with it once I start it.

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  10. I'm glad you stuck with it Viv. I was pretty sure if you did you'd start to like it. I love the cover you have here. Mine wasn't like that at all.

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  11. I'm glad you stuck with it, as it sounds like it turned out to be a great read!

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  12. I really liked The Lace Reader. Your cover is very different --like it though!

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  13. Hm. I live in fear that the books I give up on are really actually fantastic books and this review does not help that! I'm intrigued though.

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  14. The cover is beautiful but I fear I might not make it to the end.

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  15. It sounds like an interesting book, its good that you stuck with it.
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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