Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review: The Lantern



The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
Genre: Gothic, Cultural (France), Paranormal
Pages: 386 (paperback)
Source: TLC Book Tours
Author's Website | Blog | Facebook
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N

Description:
A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder--set against the lush backdrop of Provence.
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 GenEvriers, 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 GenEvriers 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?

My Rating

My Review:
The Lantern tells the story of two women, Eve and Benedicte who are connected by their home, Les GenEvriers.  Eve's story is in the present and Benedicte's story takes place in the past during the productive glory days of Les GenEvriers.  Eve meets and is swept off her feet by the secretive Dom who she begins to distrust when he refuses to answer questions about his ex-wife, Rachel.  Benedicte's story is a little less straight forward as an old mystery is slowly unraveled.

This story is beautifully written and I found myself continuously impressed by Ms. Lawrenson's descriptions.  She creates a story that introduces relationships that are complex and introduces situations where all is not what it seems.  Though I could recognize Ms. Lawrenson's talents, I really didn't enjoy the actual story.  The pace was entirely too slow for my tastes.  There were two big mystery's.  One mystery surrounds Benedicte's story and the other Eve's.  The reader did not become aware of the Benedicte's "mystery" until the book was almost over and then it was pretty easy to guess the answer.  I know that I should have really wanted to know the answer to Eve's "mystery" but I lost interest half-way through the book.  The build-up of the tension and suspense was just too slow.  Unfortunately, if I didn't have a personal rule requiring me to finish every book that I start, I wouldn't have finished this one.  Even with my rule, I almost gave up.

Readers who like well-written stories with vivid descriptions and deep meanings really might enjoy this.  However, if you require a plot that moves steadily, this one might not be for you.

*If you are particularly sensitive to animal cruelty, watch out.  There is a scene that really sticks with you.

Have you heard of The Lantern?  Read it?  What do think?


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18 comments:

  1. I have read two novels with the past and present characters. both I have enjoyed but I can't take a slow read. this one will definitely go on my MAYBE read book list. in spare time, i might be able to wig it. wonder if its on audio and if so at the library? may check.
    How is your brother feeling these days?

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    1. I'm not sure if it is an audio. I never thought about that.

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  2. Aw, shucks! I loved this one. I'm missing you, Alexis. I can't wait for another time in my life where I will be free to have free time. Belle

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    1. I know! That's one of the reasons I thought I would love it. Can't wait for when you are free to have free time as well :)

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  3. This has to be one book that I've seen the most mixed reviews on. Most are like ypu and didn't really enjoy it and then there's others who loved it. I guess it's of one those you'll either hate or love. I'm in no hurry to read it though.

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    1. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews too. I can see why people like it because of the eloquent writing and it is clear that Ms. Lawrenson is very talented. But the story was just a miss for me.

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  4. Replies
    1. I was excited to get it. It really seemed like the thing.

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  5. Bummer - the premise sounded pretty great, so it's really too bad this one didn't work out. Lately, pacing has been driving me crazy. There are so many great books out there still to read that I find myself getting irritated with books that move too slowly. Should I force myself to be more patient? Probably, but I'm like you that I need things to move along at a decent pace. Kudos to you for finishing this one even though you didn't want to!

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    1. You know if you have pacing, you have to balance it out with a great romance or something like that. Slow pacing can drive me up the wall if there is just nothing I can hang my hat on.

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  6. That's really disappointing. The premise makes this book sound like it would be really good. I'm disappointed to hear that it's slow going. I like the idea of a story that takes place in two different times. Thanks for the honest review.

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    1. I was definitely excited to read it. The premise really made it seem like this would be a great fit. But these things happen I guess.

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  7. Not for me, I'm afraid, I'm one of the most impatient readers you'll ever encounter so slow plots don't work for me.

    The story sounds interesting enough but yeah, slow pace is a big problem for me.

    I hope you next book is more of a win!

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    1. I was so frustrated with this one that I definitely needed a good one after. I can do a slow pace sometimes but it depends on what I am getting out of the story at the time.

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  8. Sounds like this one wasn't quite the perfect fit for you. Thanks for your honest review for the tour!

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  9. I've read mixed reviews on this. More meh than anything. Too bad because I love a good Gothic mystery!

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    1. I was so looking forward to this book but yes...very meh for me.

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