Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
August 11, 2011 20 Comments
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
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.