Title: The Lace Reader
Author: Brunonia Barry
Release Date: July 31, 2008
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Towner Whitney has been running from her past for a long time. She’s from a family of lace readers, which means she can read the future in a piece of lace, though she has turned her back on her talent. But when her beloved great-aunt mysteriously dies, Towner can’t stay away anymore. She returns to Salem, Massachusetts in order to face all that she left behind.
I’ve been hearing a lot about The Lace Reader since its release, most of it very good. Because of that, I put off reading it. I didn’t want it to be ruined by the hype and thus my high expectations. But with the paperback release a couple of months ago, I decided I needed to go ahead and read this book. And I’m so glad I did – The Lace Reader exceeded my expectations and I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent with it.
The best part of The Lace Reader was the fact that Towner was an unreliable narrator – the reader learns that on the very first page of the book. We see much of the novel through her eyes and aren’t quite sure how to interpret her memories and experiences. Can she be trusted? Is she remembering events correctly? It really makes the entire book an amazing experience.
The mystery in The Lace Reader is completely gripping. This is one of those books you can’t put down once you start it. The setting simply enhances the puzzling nature of the book. Salem has its own peculiar history, which makes for an eccentric cast of characters. Additionally, the lace reading is very unique – apparently it’s something that Brunonia Barry dreamed about one night! Though I’ve been told that the lace making in the novel isn’t accurate, I still enjoyed the descriptions and thought it added an entirely different twist to the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Lace Reader, despite the hype and my (still admittedly high) expectations. Brunonia Barry has a talent at building suspense slowly and carefully, which made it very enjoyable. It’s also incredibly unique! I can’t wait for Barry’s next book.