Synopses & Reviews
In the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale, Brunonia Barrys 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.
"In Barry's captivating debut, Towner Whitney, a dazed young woman descended from a long line of mind readers and fortune tellers, has survived numerous traumas and returned to her hometown of Salem, Mass., to recover. Any tranquility in her life is short-lived when her beloved great-aunt Eva drowns under circumstances suggesting foul play. Towner's suspicions are taken with a grain of salt given her history of hallucinatory visions and self-harm. The mystery enmeshes local cop John Rafferty, who had left the pressures of big city police work for a quieter life in Salem and now finds himself falling for the enigmatic Towner as he mourns Eva and delves into the history of the eccentric Whitney clan. Barry excels at capturing the feel of smalltown life, and balances action with close looks at the characters' inner worlds. Her pacing and use of different perspectives show tremendous skill and will keep readers captivated all the way through." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A]n ambitious debut....Unusual and otherworldly, this is a blizzard of a story which surprisingly manages to pull together its historical, supernatural and psychiatric elements." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] most unusual and bewitching novel. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"Fans of Dennis Lehane's Shutter Island (2003), Chris Bohjalian's The Double Bind (2007), and other modern pop-psych mysteries will not be disappointed." Booklist
"The novel's gripping and shocking conclusion is a testament to Barry's creativity. The ending — and its revelations about Towner — are unforeseeable and, therefore, all the more horrific when finally revealed." USA Today
"Novelist Brunonia Barry has pulled off a major feat with her debut, The Lace Reader: It's a gorgeously written literary novel that's also a doozy of a thriller, capped with a jaw-dropping denouement that will leave even the most careful reader gasping." Dallas Morning News
Every gift has a price...every piece of lace has a secret.
Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator, 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. Now the disappearance of two women is bringing Towner back home to Salem — and is bringing to light the shocking truth about the death of her twin sister.
In Barry's captivating debut, Towner Whitney, a young woman descended from a long line of mind readers and fortune tellers, has returned to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, for rest and relaxation. Any tranquility in her life is short-lived, however, when her aunt drowns under mysterious circumstances.
About the Author
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. She has created Brain Teaser puzzles for Smart Games and lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her husband and their beloved golden retriever, Byzantium.