#197 ~ The Lace Reader ~ Book Tour and Giveaway

Cover of The Lace Reader

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Brunonia Barry’s host on her TLC Book Tour for her novel, The Lace Reader.  I have had this book on my shelf now for almost exactly a year, so when I was asked to take part in this tour I was excited to say yes.  Because I already had a copy of this novel, I am making the copy from the book tour a giveaway.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.


The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

My name is Towner Whitney.  No, that’s not exactly true.  My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time.

Thus begins The Lace Reader, a novel about a young woman, a family, and a city plagued and, in some cases, haunted by history.  Towner has spent a good portion of her adult life in mental hospitals or dealing with her mental illness and the complications of the shock treatments she willingly underwent.  She grew up on Yellow Dog Island, just off the coast of Salem, Massachuttes.  After leaving the mental hospital, she leaves for California in hopes of running away from the death of her twin sister Lindley.  She does not get on well with her agoraphobic mother, and may not have ever returned to Salem if it weren’t for a call from her brother telling her that Eva, her grandfather’s second wife, was missing.  She was recovering from a hysterectomy, but she could not stay away from her hometown.  Eva, a woman reknown for her lace readings who encourages Towner to embrace the gift she has as well, means so much to her.  What Towner finds when she  returns is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  She must pull the pieces of her life together and come to terms with her past because running away mearly delayed the inevitable.

Ipswich Lace

Ipswich Lace

If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know that I really enjoy an unreliable narrator when that character is done well.  Towner fits into this category so very well.  How could I not be drawn into her life through those opening lines?  Brunonia Barry goes one step further and makes the reader wonder if Towner is as unreliable as she thinks she is and then, in my case, forget altogether.  This is accomplished throughthe vivid characters, a truly awful set of religious fanatics that take the city back to the 17th century, and the introduction of Rafferty, a Salem police  officer, who takes over the narration.  The interplay between Towner and Rafferty’s narration is suble and the outcome is one terrific read.

I like to think of myself as an equal opportunity reader in that I enjoy and can relate to male characters just as well as female characters.  It’s been a long time since I have felt for male characters in a novel the way I felt toward Rafferty.  He is not originally from Salem. He’s worked in the police force there for two years.  He as a teenage daughter and an ex-wife in New York City.  He is a recovering alcoholic looking to live a useful, sober life.  While Towner was living in exhile in California, Rafferty grew close to Eva and, for lack of further explanation, learnned to rely upon her readings and opinions.  His desire to make Salem a safe place for all and to protect Towner and Angela, another lost soul, endeared him to me.  As much as I grew to love Towner, Rafferty made this novel for me.

The Lace Reader was fantastic. This modern view of Salem and how the ciy’s history plays a role in the lives of her citizens, such as Ann, the local wiccan spokeswoman, is interesting and thought provoking (where is a local book club when I need it?).  Although I’ve never been to Salem, I got the feeling of what it would be like to live in such a popular vacation destination, one where people reenacted the city’s darkest and most shameful historical periods on a daily basis. I bought this in hardcover when it first came out after reading many wonderful reviews, but it sat on my shelf for almost exactly a year.  It waited patiently on my shelf until I joined this tour.  As much as I really enjoyed my first read, I’m kicking myself because this could have been my opportunity to re-read it.  As soon as I had finished it, I wanted to start all over again.  Novels don’t get much better than that.

Brunonia Barry’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS

Monday, August 24th – books i done read
Wednesday, August 26th – Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?
Monday, August 31st – Savvy Verse & Wit
Tuesday, September 1st – Cindy’s Love of Books
Thursday, September 3rd – Eclectic Book Lover
Friday, September 4th – Shhh I’m Reading
Monday, September 7th – Literate Housewife
Wednesday, September 9th – Bookopolis
Thursday, September 10th – The Book Lady’s Blog
Monday, September 14th – Biblioaddict
Tuesday, September 15th – Trish’s Reading Nook
Thursday, September 17th – Books and Movies


For a chance to win a paperback copy of this novel, please leave a comment.  I’ll use List Randomizer to draw the winner on Friday, September 11.


To buy this novel, click here.

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  • At 2009.09.07 00:02, rhapsodyinbooks said:

    From your review and tweets, I gather this is a book I should want to read!! Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

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    • At 2009.09.07 00:11, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

      You HAVE been looking at this book for a long time! You were the first one to comment on my review, way back before the hardcover was published. I’m so glad that you finally read it and enjoyed it. No need to enter me as I own it.

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      • At 2009.09.07 00:32, Zia said:

        This looks like a book I would enjoy.


        • At 2009.09.07 00:52, Lisa said:

          Rafferty was my favorite character in this book. I’m afraid I was as taken by this one as you were. I felt like there was just too much going on and it wrapped up like you were watching an action movie. That is one heck of a twist at the end, though!

          • At 2009.09.07 01:36, Melody said:

            I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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            The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

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            • At 2009.09.07 06:50, Sandy said:

              I just bought this book on my latest (and last for awhile) shopping spree. My intent was to get it for the RIP Challenge. I’m hoping to get to it very soon! I love unreliable narrators!

              • At 2009.09.07 08:37, Kathy said:

                I’ve read a lot of great reviews of this book, but yours has really made me want to read the book right now! No need to enter me – I have the book. Your review is wonderful.

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                • At 2009.09.07 08:45, Fyrefly said:

                  This was one of the first books that I remember getting heavy blog buzz when I first started blogging, and I’ve wanted to read it ever since – I’d love to be entered in the giveaway. 🙂

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                  • At 2009.09.07 09:13, Amanda said:

                    Please enter me in this giveaway! Thanks.


                    • At 2009.09.07 10:01, Debbie D said:

                      Please include me in your giveaway.

                      • At 2009.09.07 12:05, Amanda West said:

                        I would love to read this book.


                        • At 2009.09.07 12:19, Linda B said:

                          Love that opening line. Please add my name to the giveaway, and thanks!

                          • At 2009.09.07 12:48, Carla Pullum said:

                            Please count me in the giveaway!!!
                            I love to read!

                            • At 2009.09.07 13:00, Jo-Jo said:

                              I would love to win this book.
                              joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

                              • At 2009.09.07 14:56, Lori L said:

                                The Lace Reader sounds like a book I would enjoy! I’d love to win a copy!

                                • At 2009.09.07 15:00, Stephanie said:

                                  Sounds like a wonderful book. I especially love the opening lines.

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                                  • At 2009.09.07 18:23, Amy Swank said:

                                    I have got to stop reading your blog… my to-be-read list is growing exponentially.

                                    I’ve decided to jump in on the RIP challenge from your posts. I’d love a chance to read this one as well.

                                    Amy asis03(at)mchsi(dot)com

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                                    • At 2009.09.07 18:39, trish said:

                                      Jennifer, we’re so alike! I also like unreliable narrators (when they’re well done). I think Towner was particularly well done because I started doubting whether she was actually an unreliable narrator. She seemed a little peculiar, but not a liar like she says at the beginning.

                                      Anyway, I could go on and on. Thanks for being on the tour and obviously putting so much effort into your review!

                                      • At 2009.09.07 19:35, Just Mom said:

                                        Sounds good – count me in!

                                        • At 2009.09.07 19:46, Sue said:

                                          I think this book looks fantastic. Thanks for the giveaway.

                                          • At 2009.09.07 22:01, Luvdaylilies@bellsouth.net said:

                                            I think this book sounds like a really good read!
                                            Thanks bunches for the chance=)
                                            Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

                                            • At 2009.09.08 09:00, Veronica said:

                                              This looks really interesting!


                                              • At 2009.09.08 12:47, Wanda said:

                                                I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

                                                • At 2009.09.08 15:40, etirv said:

                                                  Very intriguing, please count me in!

                                                  • At 2009.09.08 19:09, Alyce said:

                                                    I love it when I read a book so good that I want to start reading it again right away! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while because almost all of the reviews that I have seen have been positive.

                                                    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

                                                    • At 2009.09.08 22:26, Kim said:

                                                      Those beginning words grab you. I remember being intrigued with this when it first came out. Yes, sign me up — I belong to two book clubs. (I LOVE your blog header and colors — so fun, yet soothing and relaxing — like a good book, huh?)

                                                      • At 2009.09.09 02:12, Violet said:

                                                        wow…A book from Salem and the one that you liked. Please enter me if international.

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                                                        • At 2009.09.09 09:31, Anne said:

                                                          I would LOVE to win a copy of this and read it! It sounds wonderful. And I love your blog!!

                                                          • At 2009.09.09 16:48, Sandy Greathouse said:

                                                            I enjoyed your review and would like to be added to your giveaway list. Thank you!



                                                            • At 2009.09.09 16:56, Amy said:

                                                              I didn’t think this was a book that would interest me but your write-up and many of the other descriptions I’ve read about this book have totally peaked my interest and captivated me. I can’t wait to read it! Please enter me in your giveaway!


                                                              • At 2009.09.09 19:56, Carol M said:

                                                                This sounds like a book I would really like! Thank you for the giveaway!
                                                                mittens0831 at aol dot com

                                                                • At 2009.09.10 09:42, b*babbler said:

                                                                  Ooh – this is one of those books that I keep picking up and then putting down at the bookstore. For some reason, any time I end up putting off the purchase of a book for so long, it ends up becoming one of my favorites. Strange, eh?

                                                                  Would love to be entered for the contest.

                                                                  blithebabbler AT gmail DOT com

                                                                  • At 2009.09.10 21:11, Jemima said:

                                                                    Please enter me. Email: thereadingjourney[at]gmail[dot]com

                                                                    thank you

                                                                    • At 2009.09.11 18:11, S. Krishna said:

                                                                      No need to enter me, but I’m glad you enjoyed this one because I’ve had it on my shelf forever – I need to get to it soon!

                                                                      • At 2010.04.07 09:48, The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry said:

                                                                        […] IS CLOSED!!! Also Reviewed By:Books Lists Life Trish’s Reading NookSam’s Book BlogThe Literate Housewife ReviewShh… I’m ReadingHey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?books i done read  tweetmeme_url = […]

                                                                        (Required, will not be published)

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