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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

Publisher: Harper
ISBN: 0062049690
Pages:400 pages
Genre: Fiction/Gothic  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

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 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.

My Review:     

I love gothic novels. Love them. It is also one of the few genres that I have difficulty finding books to suit my tastes. I think this may have come closer than most but there were still some misses.

I loved Dom and Eve. It’s the typical “woman falls for mysterious man” storyline. But it works so well. They kind of reminded me of Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester. I usually base how much I like a book on the main character and if I like him or her. In this one, I liked Eve. I did but I just felt as if she wasn’t really developed as a character. I never really made a connection with her. I did like Dom quite a bit more even though he was such a mystery.

I thought Lawrenson did such an amazing job creating a setting for this story. For once in my reading life, I made more of a connection to the place rather than the people. That never happens. The descriptions of Les GenÉvriers (I have no idea why it’s formatted like that but I can’t fix it. I’ve tried) were amazing. I am always a fan of lengthy descriptions of houses and places and this was perfect. I also loved the detailed descriptions of Provence. The descriptions did have a tendency to overwhelm the plot progression just a little bit but I really didn’t care because it was done so well.

I could compare this book to Daphne du Maurier (like on the back cover) or the Brontes but I won’t because it stands on it’s own as a terrific book. But if you are a fan of either Daphne du Maurier or the Brontes, pick this one up.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.


  1. I read this recently and I really liked it too. I did keep comparing it to Rebecca the whole time I read it.

  2. I'm glad you say that this one stands on it's own - it sounds like an amazing read!

    Thanks for being on the tour.



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