The Lantern

Friday, March 16, 2012

Title: The Lantern
Author: Deborah Lawrenson
Pages: 383
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: August 9, 2011 (hardcover); February 28, 2012 (paperback)

The Lantern received many rave reviews from fellow bloggers when it first came out last August. I wanted to know what the big deal was so I jumped at being on the TLC tour for the paperback release. It took me a little while to read because of some life/work circumstances, so I don't think I was able to enjoy it as much as I would have otherwise. But I can certainly see how the gothic atmosphere, the descriptive writing, and the titillating mystery absorbed its readers. I will say that The Lantern would make GREAT atmospheric reading around October or Halloween because it also offered a ghost story - not too much of one for those who aren't into that, but just enough to spark a goose bump every now and then.

Compared to the classic, Rebecca, this book tells alternating stories about two families residing (or who resided in the past) at a home in France called Le Genevriers. The current day story is about Eve and Dom, a fairly new couple who have just bought the home. However, not too long into their stay there, things start to change. Eve starts learning that Dom may not be who he's presented himself to be, specifically as it relates to his past marriage. The secrets embroiled with his ex-wife cause discomfort and, sometimes, fear for Eve. This is the part that's compared to Rebecca. I can't really say since I never read that book, but I assume it's not the same since Eve, herself, compares her situation to that of the classic book. Each chapter alternates Eve and Dom's story with that of Benedicte, a woman who lived at Le Genevriers with her family over fifty years prior. So while we also learn about her life, we learn about the history of the home as well as why weird things have happened with the home for both Benedicte and Eve.

Two small things that I didn't care for... the first was that while I thought the mystery was suspenseful, I thought the tension and anticipation was purposely drawn out a little too much - a lot of foreshadowing early on that frustrated me in waiting for the resolution. And a little too much description of scenery and scents; I know that contributes to the atmosphere of the novel and most readers loved it, but for a while I felt a little too inundated with it and wanted to get to the meat of the story. But these two things are truly very minor compared to the rest of the book. It was a book I was easily absorbed with whenever I had a moment to read it. I'm usually not a ghost story person, but this was just right in that realm. I would definitely recommend this to almost everyone; it was a great book to curl up and escape into.

Follow the tour below:
Thursday, March 1st: Books and Movies
Wednesday, March 7th: Knitting and Sundries
Monday, March 12th: Stiletto Storytime
Tuesday, March 13th: Picky Girl
Thursday, March 15th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, March 21st: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Wednesday, March 28th: The House of the Seven Tails
Friday, March 30th: Books, Books Everywhere!
TBD: Melody & Words
TBD: Reflections of a Bookaholic
TBD: Books, Books Everywhere!


Mrs Q Book Addict said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. I remember reading all the rave reviews. I have this one on my tbr list. Great review!

Ti said...

I had no idea that this was gothic in nature.

I think you did a nice job of reviewing this one. You managed to balance the good with the not so good, and I like a review that gives you both.

Zibilee said...

I really liked this one, but did get a little annoyed with the foreshadowing as well, and hated some of the characters. It was a heck of a read though, and it kept me flipping pages, so I do think you are right on that count as well. Great review today!

softdrink said...

It actually took me awhile to get into the book because of the shifting narration, and I wasn't crazy about the foreshadowing, either, but overall I thought it was a fun read.

Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I liked this one a lot. It took me a bit to get into it but I ended up really liking it!

nomadreader said...

I read this one last summer and remember quite enjoying the reading experience, but I remember very little about it! I haven't read Rebecca, but I do tend to enjoy novels with alternating tales as I never want to put them down!

bermudaonion said...

Too much description can drive me insane, but it sounds like this book is worth reading.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

LOVE that cover! Seems like I had seen another book recently call Teh Lantern but had a different cover. I wonder if it is the same book. I like the idea of the ghost story but foreshadowing that is too much/obvious annoys me.

Audra said...

I liked this one a lot less summer, but it's pretty forgettable (which doesn't have to be a bad thing). I wished Benedicte's story would have been a separate novel -- I really enjoyed her interludes but hated the breaking up of Eve and Dom's story, as the tension was driving me bonkers.

heathertlc said...

I love a book that can allow me to escape (even just for a short time). Glad you enjoyed this one overall!

Thanks for being on the tour.

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