Title: The Lace Reader: A Novel
Author: Brunonia Barry
Publisher: Harper (2006)
Book Source: My Own Copy
Towner Whitney comes back to her home town Salem MA because her aunt has disappeared. Towner had run away years ago from all the heavy issues and secrets in her family and she finds it difficult to return and face it all. Towner comes from a line of women who can read the future in the patterns of lace.
The Lace Reader is told in the first person by Towner, but she is revealed to be an unreliable narrator who's perspectives and memories are tainted by her own mental illness. It is a fairly complex story that is unpredictable. Brunonia Barry unfolds her story piece by piece to reveal the characters and events in a mysterious and sometimes confusing way. Each chapter begins with a little excerpt from "The Lace Reader's Guide" and this sets the tone for that chapter's events.
I thought it was quite intriguing how this book was written from the perspective of someone who has had to endure a lot of tragedy and has been unable to cope with it all. It really gets the reader to think about what it would be like to process through your past when you can not even trust your own mind and memories. There are a lot of issues (such as childhood abuse, death of a loved one, psychological problems etc) that get brought up in this novel and it would not be a good choice if you are looking for a light, fun read. It is easy to loose track and get confused while reading this novel, so you need to just flow with it and not expect to sort it all out as you go. Even at the end I still felt a little unsure if I had gotten it all sorted. Right at the end we discover new information that makes you feel like you need to re-read it to see if it makes sense in light of the final discovery.
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