Monday, November 10, 2008

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

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.

The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction, but as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."

I don't know what it is about this book! I really liked it, but every time I sit down to write a review of it, I cannot seem to figure out what to say! I am not sure why that is, really. I like the whole idea behind the book, so when I had a chance to read it, I was very excited. It will likely be one of my favourite reads of the year... not that it is has much competition! Barry wrote a very readable book, and while not everything that happened in it was all that surprising, I found myself turning the pages to see what was going to happen next!

Towner is not exactly a loveable character. She has quite a wall around her and you never really feel like you get to know who she really is by the end of the book, but she is a very interesting character! The whole idea of being able to read lace interests me. I would love to be able to do something 'different' like that. Mind you, if I could, I probably wouldn't want to, but since I can't, I can think about things like that. The characters in this book are very colourful, though, so it does read like a very different sort of book, even if the lace reading wasn't included. Towner is not exactly the girl next door and her family does not really fit to a 'normal' mould. This makes them much more readable. For me, anyway.

The book also throws in some witches, which was perfect for Halloween. When I first heard about the book I assumed it was historical fiction, so I was surprised when it turned out to be set in a modern period. Good ole mixture of religion against witches! Sad to think things like that still happen.... Think we would learn from the past, huh? Anyway, I really enjoyed this book. When I got to the end, I was very happy that I had read it and I imagine it is a book I will happily read again someday!

My thanks to Harper Collins!


  1. Like you, when I requested this book, I thought it was going to be historical fiction. I love historical fiction however, I loved this book! I thought it was a gem.

  2. So is it, or is it not, HF?

    I have it here to read soon.

  3. I had a hard time warming up to Towner too. I'm glad it's not just me. I reviewed this a few days ago.

  4. Marg: It is not historical fiction. You were right way back when I said that I thought it was and you said that you thought it wasn't! I guess the title and the witches made me think it was set in older times.

    Chris and Teddy: I read both of your reviews! I really should start linking to other people's reviews...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.