Novel Comments

20 Dec

just finished reading The Lace Reader (2006), a novel by Brunonia Barry. This book is rich in plot threads. The foremost, as the title suggests, is lace reading by focusing on the pattern and spaces in a piece of lace as a vehicle for second sight. These patterns are made by a group of women in contemporary Salem, Massachusetts. Salem itself, with its history of burning witches, is not only a background setting but also a plot element. Real evil takes the form of past and current witch-hunting as well as sexual and physical abuse by the leader of a local religious cult. Familial and romantic love and their complications are additional threads. The heroine’s psychological disturbance, which combines dissociation, psychosis,and ESP, is a central thread in the pattern.

In spite of or perhaps because of the many plot elements that each took the author’s time to develop, I found that the book moved too slowly for my taste. It was only in the last couple of chapters, when the author drew in all the threads together to finish the pattern did it turn into a page turner for me.

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