Thursday, November 13, 2008
I just finished Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. I picked it because of the rave review it received on CurledUp.com. First off, I have a confession: this book normally wouldn't have passed my profanity filter, which sort of works on a point system. The problem with this book is that there was no swearing until more than half way, and by that time I was hooked and couldn't stop. Just in the interest of disclosure, I would guess that throughout the last half of the book, there were probably 20 incidences of the "f-word" but not much else. No sex or violence, and some mild illicit drug use.
On to the story. It revolves around a woman named Towner Whitney who fights equally with her own mental illness and (possibly caused by) her family. All the Whitney women are Lace Readers with a streak of genuine psychic power. Lace reading invloves holding a piece of lace to the face of another and seeing images in/through the lace and telling the future. Towner battles with past demons and tries to find what is real and what is hallucination.
You may be wondering about the picture at the top. It is a lace maker's pillow. A portion of the book revolves around one of these pillows and while Ms. Barry did as good a job as a person could have done describing it, I was still way confused at what it actually looked like. Mostly because those wooden peg things are called bobbins. She never says what the bobbins look like, so I was trying to picture bobbins like the little things that go in your sewing machine, and it just wansn't working out. So, if you read it, you won't be nearly as confused as I was.
I wouldn't go so far as the previously cited reviewer as to say that this is one of the best books I've ever read, but I did enjoy it. A lot. Once I got about 100 pages into it, I read it straight through.
My only complaint, aside from the f-bombs, is the ending. It has a twist ending that I totally didn't see coming. Not the same as, but akin to, The Sixth Sense where the whole perspective of the book changes with this one piece of information. The only thing is, I felt, is that there were lots of unanswered questions connected to this one last twist that I would have felt more peaceful about if they were addressed. As it is, I'm wondering how it all was supposed to work in that one scene.... or what about... or who was she talking to if....