Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Lace Reader

By Brunonia Barry

Towner, Sophya Whitney, thinks that she is free from Salem, Massachusetts, her past and her family’s uncanny ability to read fortunes in lace. That is until she learns her beloved Great-Aunt Eva, has disappeared.

Arriving back in Salem, Towner soon learns Eva drowned. Her suspicions of foul play are compounded by the disappearance of an abused girl under the thrall of a local cult leader and enemy of Eva’s, but given Towner’s history of hallucinatory visions and self-harm few believe her.

Drawn back into a world of clairvoyants, witches and crazed cults, Towner must navigate her way with the help of a cop, John Rafferty, and local witch, Anne Chase. But to learn the truth of Eva’s death and Angela’s disappearance, Towner must stop running and piece together her past from the lies and half-truths in her hallucinations and the lace.

Barry’s quirky depiction of Salem’s small town life with the bizarre characters one expects of a town famous for its witch trials is truly mesmerizing. An excellent backdrop for this chilling, yet compelling novel of magic, mystery and dark secrets spun together with wit and dreams, abuse and the true meaning of family.