Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

This book was said to be “in the tradition of Rebecca“, a gothic tale, taking place in the Provence with a murder mystery included.

That sounded just the sort of book that I would enjoy. While I found it a little slow going at the beginning, I definitely enjoyed the book later on.

The Lantern: What it is about

This is the story of Eve (not her real name) who moves to the Provence (France) with her boyfriend Dominic, who is a lot older than her. He was previously married but refuses to talk about this wife, Rachel.

When a local woman, Sabine, tells Eve that she knew Rachel, who disappeared without trace, Eve doesn’t know what to think of her husband and his secrets.

Alternated with Eve’s story is the narrative of Bénédicte Luncel, who used to live in the farmhouse where Dominic and Eve now live. Bit by bit, she reveals her family’s secrets which have a great impact on Eve an Dominic’s life at the house.

The Lantern: What I thought

A very well-written story with some very appealing elements. There is the quaint, crumbling farmhouse with its nooks and crannies, the fragrants of the country side, there are apparitions at night – all very atmospheric.

The stories of Eve and Bénédicte are told in such a way that the reader slowly starts to put one and two together without fully grasping the situation, until the very end. This makes the story mysterious and magical.

A mystery then, but also a story about relationships and whether you can ever trust people, however well (or badly) you think you know them.

A good read!

Rating: 4/5 stars

I got this book: from  the Publishers, Harper Collins (Harper), for review

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 400

First published: 2011 (August)

Genre: contemporary fiction

***small spoiler***

If you’ve read this book, could you explain to me why Eve isn’t using her real name? It never became clear to me.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

20 Responses to Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

  1. Tes says:

    This sounds like an interesting story 🙂 I am feeling good to look for a copy 🙂

  2. Louise says:

    This book was recently reviewed on The TV Book Club here, and it had a mixed review, I like the blurb but I’m put off by some of the reviews, I usually buy the books and follow The TV Book Club, maybe this one I’ll add to my library loot next time 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      I haven’t read any reviews on this, Louise, so I don’t know what others have been saying. I myself enjoyed it enough that I would be happy enough to have bought this.

  3. Trisha says:

    I like the idea of the atmosphere and the mystery. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. Leslie says:

    I have an audio copy for review and will be listening to it soon. Then maybe I’ll have an opinion on Eve’s name.

  5. Lena says:

    Great review, I have been looking for some mysteries to read lately. This sounds interesting.

  6. Amy says:

    I was wondering if this book was similar to Rebecca in any way. It sounds like it has the right atmosphere. I really like that there’s a mystery here but this is also a story about relationships and people.

    Thank you!

  7. Marg says:

    I am planning to read this one soon! It sounds good, but the reviews have definitely been a bit mixed!

  8. I got a copy of this from NetGalley- glad you enjoyed it, I’m looking forward to reading it.

  9. I wonder how my reading experience might have differed if I had read Rebecca. I had high hopes for this novel (I love Niffenegger) but it fell a little short. The writing was lovely though.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Mari, I didn’t really think about *Rebecca* once I started the book, so I don’t think it makes a different. A pity it wasn’t quite what you hoped.

  10. Pingback: Book Review: The Lantern « ReviewsbyLola's Blog

  11. Pingback: Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson « Stargazerpuj's Book Blog

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