The Lace Reader : The Lace Reader

  • by Brunonia Barry
  • Narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Series: The Lace Reader
  • 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Every gift has a price...Every piece of lace has a secret... "My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time...." Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, 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. But the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths, in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction. But as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."

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Audible Editor Reviews

Towner Whitney admits that she's crazy, coming from a long line of eccentrics in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. Towner is forced to confront her past and reconstruct her future with the help of a guardian ghost, a modern-day witch, a confused detective, a predator preacher, and fortune-telling lace. Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan uses tone and pacing to make this unusual cast of characters completely believable - even the ghost. In addition, her straightforward voicing of Towner provides this character with the credibility needed to give the surprise ending extra zing. Salem is the perfect setting for this crazy-quilt expedition into the meaning of reality, and Bresnahan is the perfect choice for guiding listeners through this mesmerizing journey of self-discovery.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointing

I entierly agree with the Amazon reviewer who found this book "enjoyable although a little boring". The first half of the novel was an interesting introduction to the town of Salem with it's history of witches and witch hunts but the second didn't keep my attention and I was listening reluctantly.

The lead character of Towner Whitney was endearing, if a little loopy. She has a complicated history, some of which even she does not know. She has left the Salem of her childhood because of a premonition that she had from the lace, and events that took place in her past. Her entwined family still lives there, in amongst the islands. They are all strong swimmers and confident with boats, they also have strong powers of fortune telling. As we gradually get to know these people and their history it becomes apparent that all is not as it first seems.
When one of them goes missing, Towner is forced to return and face her demons.
In some parts the story became a bit confusing, what was real and what dreamed, and the phrase "shape-shifted" was well overused.

I found the lace reading a bit unbelievable and the exerpts from the book penned by Towner's Aunt Eva that opened each chapter were far fetched in places. This was one of the disadvantages of the audiobook, the narrator insisted on reading these exerpts at each new chapter, where I would have skipped them.
Although events come to a head towards the end, this is not a thriller. Nor would I describe it as an historical novel, In my opinion it is a romantic mystery with supernatural overtones.
Well read by the narrator.
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- MaryAnne

Enjoyable but not excellent

Any additional comments?

This is a well written and vividly told story. Much of it is compelling and it is mostly well paced. I personally found its twists and turns a little predictable which was somewhat disappointing but perhaps this is a reflection of me having read books with similar emotional themes.

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- Victoria

Book Details

  • Release Date: 29-07-2008
  • Publisher: HarperAudio