The Lace Reader

The Lace Reader

Book - 2007
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Look into the lace? When the eyes begin to fill with tears and the patience is long exhausted, there will appear a glimpse of something not quite seen... In this moment, an image will begin to form? in the space between what is real and what is only imagined. Can you read your future in a piece of lace? All of the Whitney women can. But the last time Towner read, it killed her sister and nearly robbed Towner of her own sanity. Vowing never to read lace again, her resolve is tested when faced with the mysterious, unsolvable disappearance of her beloved Great Aunt Eva, Salem's original Lace Reader. Told from opposing and often unreliable perspectives, the story engages the reader's own beliefs. Should we listen to Towner, who may be losing her mind for the second time? Or should we believe John Rafferty, a no nonsense New York detective, who ran away from the city to a simpler place only to find himself inextricably involved in a psychic tug of war with all three generations of Whitney women? Does either have the whole story? Or does the truth lie somewhere in the swirling pattern of the lace?
Publisher: Marblehead, MA : Flap Jacket Press, 2007
Edition: Flap Jacket Press trade paperback ed
ISBN: 9780979159305
097915930X
9780061624766
0061624764
Branch Call Number: F BARRY
FICTION Barry 2007
Characteristics: 353 p. ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Lace reader : a novel

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m
maipenrai
Dec 19, 2016

(The first book in the Lace Reader series)

p
Pisinga
Sep 25, 2014

Unusual. After reading there is a strong desire to visit Salem. I do not know why, but this book reminds me ".“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Although the theme and style of writing are quite different.
A little unconvincing way so to speak - character of Cal who supposedly should personification a evil itself.

g
GingerKaren
Sep 04, 2013

Towner is from a very special line of women who can read fortunes by looking at a piece of lace; in fact she can read minds. But she has fled her Salem home to live across the country in California. But when her Aunt Eva dies, she knows she has to return to Salem to deal with the funeral and her aunt's estate. She also realizes there is a lot of unresolved issues waiting for her there as well. Soon she has entered a surreal world where the town has become a refuge for kooks and tourists. It doesn't help that it is also a refuge for the heartbroken and grief stricken. And she will fit in just fine if she can stop reading everyone's mind and heal herself.

jeanner222 Aug 23, 2012

I am not sure where to start with this review. Sophya "Towner" Whitney comes from a family of lace readers. Hailing from Salem, these women can see the future in patterns of lace.

Due to the disappearance of her grandmother, Eva, Towner has recently returned to Salem. What follows is partially present day action, part flashback, and all totally confusing. And did I mention that Towner is an unreliable narrator?

While the story is well-paced and interesting, I was disappointed by the lack of character development, the under-developed lace-reading aspect, and the not-so-tight plotting.

l
Lauriepb
Dec 05, 2011

A nice, well constructed mystery, with just the right mix of mysticism and reality, building to a climax that questions the nature of sanity.
A vivid snapshot of a small New England port, and it's surrounding isolated islands.

j
JKS5645
Oct 25, 2011

I really enjoyed this book when I got to the end. Early in the book, I kept wondering what was so special about this person's story, but it came together nicely in the end.

b
BDLange
Nov 14, 2010

This was a very enjoyable read. It is a book you will want to re-read to figure out the revelation at the end. Historically interesting and the characters are well written.

c
carness
Feb 11, 2010

Interesting read. Better than most fictional books about present day Salem. Very nice twist at the end that will make you want to re-read the book to pick up the tiny things you may have missed.

DanniOcean Jun 15, 2009

SPL Shelf Life column Nov. 28, 2008

samdog123 Feb 03, 2009

Although I found this book a bit difficult to get into, once I did, I realized how wonderful the writing is...its just so well done. It would make a wonderful book for a book club discussion.

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DanniOcean Jun 15, 2009

Fans of Joanne Harris and Alice Hoffman delight, here is a new author who combines Hoffman’s gift for atmosphere with Harris’ talent for characters and storytelling. The Lace Reader is set in modern day New England and centres on an estranged group of women. Sophya “Towner” Whitney has a troubled past and family from which she has tried to escape by moving to California. When she receives word that her beloved aunt Eva is missing, she returns home to Salem, Massachusetts, and to the strange family circle that has long been the source of unfathomable secrets. There Towner’s severed ties are re-threaded and old webs of lies are untangled, including the mysterious disappearance of her twin sister so many years ago.
Reader beware: in this mystery-that-isn’t-a-mystery, not everything is as it seems – even Towner will tell you that. This is a haunting, evocative novel that will perfectly suit a windswept dark night.

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