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The Lace Reader

The Lace Reader

Написано Brunonia Barry

Озвучено Alyssa Bresnahan


The Lace Reader

Написано Brunonia Barry

Озвучено Alyssa Bresnahan

оценки:
4/5 (173 оценки)
Длина:
11 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 29, 2008
ISBN:
9780061702433
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

In the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale, Brunonia Barry's bewitching gothic novel, The Lace Reader, is a phenomenon. Called "[a] richly imagined saga of passion, suspense, and magic" by Time Magazine, it is a haunting and remarkable tale told by an unforgettable, if strangely unreliable narrator-a woman from an enigmatic Salem family who can foretell the future in patterns of lace. The Lace Reader was a runaway New York Times bestseller-hitting the top lists in major cities across the country, from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles-and has immediately established debut author Brunonia Barry as a major force in contemporary American fiction.
Издатель:
Издано:
Jul 29, 2008
ISBN:
9780061702433
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Brunonia Barry studied literature and creative writing at Green Mountain College in Vermont and at the University of New Hampshire. After nearly a decade in Hollywood, Barry returned to Massachusetts, where, along with her husband, she founded an innovative company that creates award-winning word, visual and logic puzzles. Happily married, Barry lives with her husband and her twelve-year old Golden Retriever named Byzantium

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3.8
173 оценки / 180 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    It’s about time that I add my voice to the chorus of praise this book has rightly received. The Lace Reader is the story of Towner Whitney, the self-proclaimed unreliable narrator of this tale, who returns to Salem, Massachusetts, after 15 years of self-imposed exile when her beloved Great-Aunt Eva goes missing. Barry has crafted a richly layered novel that deals with difficult subjects in an unusual and original way. The ghostly/witchy elements of the story are handled well and are believable within the context of the novel. I also loved the excerpts from Eva’s book The Lace Reader’s Guide, which added authenticity to this fascinating tale. In addition, Barry’s descriptions of Salem and her historical overview of the town have inspired me to plan a visit there some day. My only complaints about the book are that the romance was a tad predictable and the shift from the main narrator to a secondary one felt abrupt to me. Plus I wish I hadn’t been able to see the main twist coming—though it’s so well done, it’s hard to feel disappointed about this. This is definitely a book that merits a reread! If you enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale, then you will likely enjoy this one as well.
  • (5/5)
    When I saw this book on our ARC pile at work, I almost didn’t pick it up. The title and cover didn’t really appeal to me. It didn’t seem like something I would normally read…then, I started hearing wonderful things about it on LT and decided to give it a try. And thank goodness for that.The Lace Reader takes place in 1996 and opens with Towner Whitney, who narrates most of the book, leaving California, where she has lived for the last 15 years, to return to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts because her great-aunt Eva, who raised her, is missing. Towner establishes herself as an unreliable narrator from the first lines of the book, in which she says, “Never believe me. I lie all the time. I am a crazy woman…That last part is true,” which serves to make an already interesting book even more enthralling.As Towner joins the investigation into Eva’s disapperance, she reveals pieces of a personal and family history that are filled with abuse, heartbreak, and many, many skeletons in the proverbial closet. We learn early on that Towner had a twin sister, Lyndley, whom her mother gave away to Towner’s Aunt Emma when they were born, and who died tragically at the age of 17 after enduring years of abuse and the hands of her alcholic father, Towner’s uncle Cal Boynton, who is also the leader of the local cult. The death of her twin sister pushed Towner over the edge, and she was eventually hospitalized for psychiatric treatment, where the electric shock therapy she received caused her to lose many of her memories from her life BTH (before the hospital).As Towner reconstructs her memories, she explains that all of the Whitney women have the ability to read lace–to look beyond and through the patterns and see a person’s future–and that the last time she tried, 15 years ago, Lyndley “saw the same thing I saw in the pattern, and what we saw that night led her to the choices that eventually killed her.” As indicated by the book’s title, lace reading plays a major role in the lives of the characters and in the plot of the book, as Eva’s ability to read lace earned her the label of “witch” by the Calvinists (the members of Cal’s cult) and led to a longstanding dispute between them and Eva’s group of women friends and fellow lace makers, the Circle. The circumstances surrounding Lyndley’s death are a mystery through most of the book, and when Towner reveals the truth, it is shocking.As she further explains lace reading, Towner states thatSometimes, when you look back, you can point to a time when your world shifts and heads in another direction. In lace reading this is called the “still point.” Eva says it’s the point around which everything pivots and real patterns start to emerge.There seem to be several “still points” in Towner’s life, and as her story unfolds, it becomes increasingly enthralling and unputdownable. The ending–actually, the last 100 pages–is unexpected, emotionally jarring, and utterly unforgettable. It nearly brought me to tears, and that is a rare feat.Brunonia Barry knows how to tell a good story. Her use of changing points of view gives the characters added depth and provides extra details that make the story richer and more compelling. Her decision to present readers with Towner’s hospital journal of partially fictionalized writings about the events that led up to Lyndley’s death is particularly shrewd given that we never know how much to believe, and the momentum she builds in the final pages is simply incredible. This is an amazing story that ultimately illustrates the abilities our minds and hearts have to protect us from our own demons, and it will easily earn a place in my top five reads of the year. The Lace Reader left me breathless.
  • (3/5)
    I did finally read The Lace Reader that had everyone all abuzz a few years ago, and I must say, I just don't get it. It was an OK read with an OK plot but I forgot to review it here in LibraryThing and I don't remember the specifics now. The main character's aunt disappears and the character, Towner comes back home to Salem, Massachusetts to work out her family's past.
  • (5/5)
    So many twists, I loved the journey. The characters are all a little different and I think that makes them more likeable. I love all the history around the Salem witch trials. This story also addresses some serious social issues. An all around enjoyable read.
  • (3/5)
    I loved the beginning of the book, up through the middle and the parts regarding lace reading but there is such a twist to the ending it's making me question everything I read.

    Going to have to read this again to see how many stars I give the book - so for now I'll stay with 3.
  • (4/5)
    This book initially through me a bit with its constant transitions between the narrator's past and present, which reflected the character's history and memories, but made reading a little difficult at times. Still, this was an excellent story set in modern-day Salem, and the story featured plenty of magic! Fun reading overall - and I understand it's part of a series?!?!
  • (4/5)
    Towner Whitney tells you in the first sentences of this book that she is crazy and can't be depended on. I found this book very difficult to put down. You should absolutely read it
  • (4/5)
    My book club chose this book for October 2016. I understand this book has made quite a stir and garnered quite a few rave reviews. I can't say I am about to include my review in the rave category. Right up front Towner Whitney (born as Sophya but adopted the nickname for some reason not really explained in the book) admits that she lies all the time. So we have an unreliable narrator telling us a story about her family and events that took place and take place in the town of Salem Massachusetts (yes, that Salem with the witches). Towner grew up in Salem but left to live in California and has not be back since. She is drawn back by the disappearance of her great-aunt Eva with whom she lived at one time. Eva is a lace reader which is a person who tells fortunes by reading a piece of lace. The lace is made by women on Yellow Dog Island where Towner's mother May operates an abused women's shelter and lace factory. Towner was a twin but her sister Lyndley was given away to May's childless sister, Emma, so Towner and Lyndley only saw each other in the summertime when the aunt, her husband Cal and Lyndley returned to the island. Then one summer Lyndley killed herself and Towner ended up in a mental asylum. When she was released she went to California which was, she says, as far away as she could get from Salem without falling into the ocean. Now she is back and the disappearance of her aunt is the catalyst for events which will cause her to re-examine her life. One of the problems I had with the book is the switching from first person to third person at times. A more able writer would have been able to keep the one viewpoint throughout a book. The fact that I noticed it when I don't usually remember whether a book is told in first, second or third person shows it was clumsily done. Another issue was the climax which devolved into a horror film type of scene with witches and arsonists and beatings. And finally I felt that the ending left too many gaps in Towner's story. I can't go into the details without spoiling the book but it will certainly be a point of discussion when we meet for our book club.
  • (3/5)
    This was a decent read. Granted, it was on my phone and I read it mostly when my husband wouldn't let me leave the light on to read in bed...There are some seriously heavy issues here, you can dive as deep as it suits you with them. There are a few bumpy spots, but the end is pretty interesting.
  • (3/5)
    Towner Whitney, currently in a mental hospital in California, returns to Salem, Mass. after the death of her great Aunt Eva, a woman who can see the past, present, and future by reading lace. I found the novel difficult to read because many of the primary characters were not well defined and the plot plodded along at times. It had its moments but they were few and far between.
  • (4/5)
    A good read!
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book. Its Salem, New England setting, its whiff of the mystical that didn't go too far overboard, and its exploration about how we shape memory as much as it shapes us. I could quibble with the psychological underpinnings of our heroine's challenges. I could point out that while I'm no fan of fundamentalism, its portrayal as merely a refuge for criminals and those with character disorders seemed a bit over-the-top. Even though the twist at the end was not a real surprise to me, I enjoyed it anyway.

    Barry's novel drew me in and held my interest. She told a good yarn that most female readers will find resonates with at least some aspects of their experience.
  • (3/5)
    I really wanted to like this book - after reading the jacket flap I was pretty sure I would. But I didn't. I trudged through it and held out until the end, thinking maybe it might redeem itself eventually. It did not. The book was all over the place. I didn't feel like it had a beginning, middle, or end. And what was supposed to be the climax just seemed contrived. What I did like was the descriptions of the lace readings. I wish there had been more of that element.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful book with captivating characters, plot, plot twists, historical and cultural references, and imagery. So many topics are covered in this story that if the characters don't catch your attention (hard to imagine), the variety of information will. I saw the main plot twist coming about 3/4 of the way through the book, but being able to predict the outcome did not detract at all.
  • (3/5)
    In many ways, this was a book well worth reading. I feared at first that it would turn out to be a "look at all the witches in Salem" story but discovered a nuanced, well-written book that delves into a woman's past. The use of an unreliable narrator is always tricky for an author to pull off, and Barry does an exceptional job for the most part. She balances what readers learn through the protagonist with the viewpoints of other characters, all filtered through the protagonist but valid nonetheless.
    In addition, the writing itself is of very good quality. That alone kept me reading long enough to give the plotline a chance, and to connect with the main character. I was happy that it kept me reading long enough to care about the woman.
    There were moments when it slipped back into too-common cliches, and a few times I thought that if it continued in that vein, I would put it down. But I never abandoned the novel.
    The ending was beautifully written, well crafted, and yet it was dissatisfying. Despite all the points that proved the protagonist was unreliable, her total lack of memory concerning her sister simply wasn't credible. I was disappointed over this but not to the point that I will refuse to read other books by this author. I will seek out her other books to see if she handled them better.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting but forgettable. I think I was expecting a little more historical fiction and a little less family drama.
  • (4/5)
    This book was a great read. it kept me interested throughout. very descriptive concerning boating and the "yellow Dog Island". It is also written with a fog of mystery around Towner and her visions and her mental illness. Cal is an appropriate horrible villain.
  • (5/5)
    Absolutely loved this book - wonderful story - great plot twists - magical! Can't wait to see the author at book group expo!
  • (1/5)
    I found this book a mediocre read. I was more captivated by the little asides on tatting lace than I was by the story itself. I did finish it though, and unfortunately the ending was one that has been done several times before, and in much better fashion.
  • (3/5)
    Ok book. Not one of my favorites but interesting storyline.
  • (4/5)
    This was a good mystery. Pretty hard to figure out before the end. It takes place in Salem, Massachusetts and references witches. The book starts with, "never believe me, I lie".
  • (5/5)
    Gorgeous family saga which takes place off the coast of New England. Surprises every where!
  • (3/5)
    This was an ok book. I had a problem keeping track of the characters especially because they could be real or a figment of a mentally ill mind. It did keep me reading but this is not the kind of book I generally read what with the witchcraft, etc. The author had a habit of introducing the witchcraft and then downplaying it by making the characters involved, like Ann, seem to be very ordinary, even likable people. This book was not my schtick.
  • (3/5)
    I really wanted to like this book - after reading the jacket flap I was pretty sure I would. But I didn't. I trudged through it and held out until the end, thinking maybe it might redeem itself eventually. It did not. The book was all over the place. I didn't feel like it had a beginning, middle, or end. And what was supposed to be the climax just seemed contrived. What I did like was the descriptions of the lace readings. I wish there had been more of that element.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful book with captivating characters, plot, plot twists, historical and cultural references, and imagery. So many topics are covered in this story that if the characters don't catch your attention (hard to imagine), the variety of information will. I saw the main plot twist coming about 3/4 of the way through the book, but being able to predict the outcome did not detract at all.
  • (3/5)
    Very entertaining. However, the end happened like a tsunami! I had to read the last several chapters again. My mind was set in one direction and the ending turned it completely upside down. I am not sure I was able to process before the book ended. I would have preferred a few more chapters describing this new world order.
  • (3/5)
    Towner tells us at the beginning that she is crazy and that she is a liar. I'm fairly certain of the first, not so sure of the second. Truly a mystery, as I'm not sure we have any answers at the end.
  • (4/5)
    You know, usually, I see the twist coming, and I probably had some hints along the way I brushed off. But the ending of this book threw me for a LOOP.
  • (4/5)
    I had trouble getting into this book at first. Not sure if it was just the timing or my mind set. I enjoyed the book once I got into it. You have Towner Whitney, whose real name is Sophya. Her family is from Salem and can read the future in the patterns of lace. The women have many secrets about their family. Towner comes back to Salem to look for her Auntie Eva. I found myself drawn into the stories of Salem history and the witchcraft mentioned in the book. I am glad that our book club chose this book for January.
  • (4/5)
    I'd like to read more of this author.