Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The Lace Reader
All the book buzz this past summer seemed to be about The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry. I sure tried my best to get my hands on an advance copy. That was fruitless so I wound up buying a hardcover copy, something I rarely do. But the question here, is did The Lace Reader live up to those high expectations I had going in? Hmmm.
The Lace Reader opens with Towner (Sophya) Whitney, a self-professed liar, who returns to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts because her Aunt Eva is missing. It becomes obvious right away that Towner has suffered from psychological illness in the past. We then meet a host of eccentric and unusual characters, family and friends alike. There are witches, people who read fortunes in lace, and religious zealots. Towner reminisces about the past, about her relationship with her twin sister, who is now dead, about old boyfriends, and family secrets. This leads to a quite dramatic ending, full of action and revealed secrets.
I really liked the first half of this book, the setting of the stage if you will. I've found it interesting that many of the reviews I've read cite the opening of the novel as their least favorite part. What does that say about me? The latter part of the book felt so frenetic to me, people running around, being chased and then hiding, there is a fire, and finally secrets are revealed. Now I like a good twist, one that turns the story on its head. But I have a problem with twists that make me feel as though I've been had, and that's how this twist felt to me. Yes, I know Towner said she was a liar. But still. Despite this, I liked this book. I thought it was a page-turner and I always looked forward to getting back to it. It just wasn't the book-of-the-year that I was expecting based on so many great reviews. Have you felt that way about any books lately?
In other news....it may seem as though I haven't visited you lately. The reason may be twofold. 1. I have on and off problems with my right hand and since they're on right now, the only relief is to rest, so I'm trying to type less. 2. I really, REALLY rely on bloglines and I just noticed in the past few days that some blogs have not been updated by them since October 1 so I've been missing lots of posts. This is so frustrating and I cannot find any way to contact them to find out what is going on.
Also, how are you using bloggers new 'followers' feature? Is this meant to replace the blog roll?