Monday, August 22, 2011

The Lantern

Here's something I'd never thought I'd review- a historical romance with ghost hauntings! But there's a first for everything and overall... kind of an interesting book.

The Lantern- Deborah Lawrenson
The Lantern: A Novel
Meeting Dom was the most incredible thing that had ever happened to me. When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom in Switzerland, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genévriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the South of France. Each enchanting day delivers happy discoveries: hidden chambers, secret vaults, a beautiful wrought-iron lantern. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive.

But with autumn’s arrival the days begin to cool, and so, too, does Dom. Though Eve knows he bears the emotional scars of a failed marriage—one he refuses to talk about—his silence arouses suspicion and uncertainty. The more reticent Dom is to explain, the more Eve becomes obsessed with finding answers—and with unraveling the mystery of his absent, beautiful ex-wife, Rachel.

Like its owner, Les Genévriers is also changing. Bright, warm rooms have turned cold and uninviting; shadows now fall unexpectedly; and Eve senses a presence moving through the garden. Is it a ghost from the past or a manifestation of her current troubles with Dom? Can she trust Dom, or could her life be in danger?

Eve does not know that Les Genévriers has been haunted before. Bénédicte Lincel, the house’s former owner, thrived as a young girl within the rich elements of the landscape: the violets hidden in the woodland, the warm wind through the almond trees. She knew the bitter taste of heartbreak and tragedy—long-buried family secrets and evil deeds that, once unearthed, will hold shocking and unexpected consequences for Eve.

OK, so some things I'll tell you upfront that I didn't like are the long winded-ness of some areas. I bet I could cut out a 1/3 of that book and still feel like I got the entire story. I appreciate character development and scene setting but sometimes... enough is enough. I get how the trees were and the horizon and how they are together.. etc. When it doesn't add something specifically to the story I feel like it should be taken out. I also felt like all of the added fluff made it a little more difficult to read and to follow the story in some areas. There were more than a few sections I had to read again because I got to the end and thought, "What did I miss??". So those two things aside, it was a pretty interesting story. Interesting enough to keep me plugging through it in really slow parts.

What I didn't get until the end are the parallels between the past and the future. The story flip flops between the present day Eve and Dom and the past of Les Genevriers and it wasn't until the end when I realized where the connection was. Though I suspected, I feel like maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I knew more of this in the beginning? I will also say I kind of found Eve to be dumb and Dom to be kind of a jerk? I mostly think if I were in a relationship and Dom was as evasive with me, I would have left long ago. So at times I felt frustrated with both of those characters only because I didn't understand them.

I will say I really enjoyed how the author tied the past and future together. And for the last third of the book I felt like she really gained momentum in finishing the story in a way that would leave readers happy, leave just enough unanswered questions to satisfy you and still leave you thinking the book was enjoyable overall. It's a departure from what I would normally read, but I did enjoy it and found myself feeling satisfied at the end.

You know I never leave you to only take my 98 cents worth, so I recommend you check out the other blog stops on this tour HERE.


Anonymous said...

You should probably just send me your book list ahead of time, because I end up putting them on my list anyways :) Sounds like a great book.

trish said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it in the end.

I'm always interested in what people don't like about a book; you don't like the extensive descriptions, other people love that stuff. I love discussing that type of thing in my book clubs: who likes what and why!

Thanks for being on the tour!

Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued by this one in spite of the issues you had with it - it just sounds so different than what I usually read!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.