Thursday, July 8, 2010

Book Review: The Lace Reader

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Set in Salem, Massachusetts, The Lace Reader is about a young, mentally unstable woman who returns home after a beloved great aunt has disappeared mysteriously to have her family and her past waiting to confront her. There are many secrets, lies, half-truths and confused identities that must be faced. At least the narrator is up front with the reveal that she is a liar.

I'm going to be blunt. I hated this book. So much so that I actually considered putting the book down without finishing it - something I never do. I only finished it because we were discussing it in my book club.

I found the book to be inconsistent in it's writing style, narrator and tense. This may have been intentional on the author's part to encourage the story to seem more like a fever dream where it's hard to tell the difference between what's real and what's imagined. Except it didn't work for me. Not in this book. The writing also felt very elementary.

There were too many mysteries crammed into one book that there was a lot of confusion for me that even the ending couldn't completely clear up. The story itself had a lot of potential, but there were parts that had nothing to do with moving the plot forward that they felt out of place and made reading this book more of a chore.

I know several people who enjoyed this book way more than I did. If I had known that this would not be a no-brainer read, I may have liked it more. And the characters were complex and interesting. So there are some redeeming qualities. But it is not a book I will ever be rereading, or even keep on my book shelf.

And be warned, the book has very little to do with lace reading.

Next month - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion to do this review.

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