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The Lantern Discussion ~ Week 2

Carl from Stainless Steal Droppings is hosting a read-a-long of The Lantern this month. I didn’t post last week because of my busy cruising schedule. 🙂 Thanks to Kailana, we have our questions for this week.

Warning (stolen from Carl): For those of you who are not reading the novel but want to, following along after the jump is something you do not want to do. Spoilers are present in abundance.

Here are my responses to this week’s questions:

1. The title of this book is The Lantern, and a lantern makes an appearance in both of the stories. In Benedicte’s past, it had a meaning, but what do you think the lantern signifies in her future and in Eve’s story?

It is so very interesting how Benedicte and Eve’s stories are coming together. I’m tempted to think that an item so meaningful to Benedicte being seen by Eve is a sign that Benedicte is trying very hard to have someone learn the truth about her family and about the farm. Eve is also allowing herself to live in the dark when it comes to Dom. While there are signs everywhere that she doesn’t belong with him, she never allows a harsh light to shine on the situation for long. If it’s not Benedicte, it is the universe trying to get her attention.

2. Carl mentioned scents in last weeks questions, but they have been addressed even more in these sections. What significance do you think scents have in this story overall?

I really wish that this book came with a scratch and sniff card. They talk about such wonderful sounding smells. Scent is very much a character in this book. Scent changes people’s lives. It’s what gave Marthe a break after she became blind. I would love to know what Marthe’s perfume smells like. It’s the clue to Eve that something’s not right. Is the scent that awakes her Marthe’s perfume or something else?

3. What do you think of the combining storyline of Marthe? She connects Benedicte, Eve, and Rachel. What do you think will be revealed about this connection in the next sections?

Although I assumed the stories had to intersect at some point, it was this connection that finally brought about my investment in the novel. This book got off to a slow start for me because the book was so atmospheric. The connection between the two woman added the spark of action and excitement In needed. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a matter of history repeating itself. Could Dom in some way be related to Pierre? I wouldn’t be surprised.

4. Now that things are beginning to move along, what do you think of the characters? Are any standing out for you? Do you particularly like any? Dislike any?

While I still don’t care for Eve, I like Benedicte even more than I did during the first two sections. Benedicte is a woman trying to make the best of the world into which she was born. She jumps at the chance to help Marthe, for example. She does seem to blame herself for everything. Even where Marthe might blame her, she’s not to blame.

Eve, on the other hand, annoys me. I want to like her, but it’s as if she prefers to live with her head buried in the sand. She’ll investigate Dom and Rachel, but only so far. When the truth is within reach, she calls it a night. I find that frustrating.

5. What do you think really happened to Marthe and Annette? What do you think the significance of the bones in the pool are to the story? Especially now that it has been revealed that Rachel is also dead.

I believe the bones beneath the pool are Marthe and Annette. Whether that happened while Benedicte was away or she only imagined them alive when she woke up, I’m not sure. I do not believe that Rachel died of cancer. Noting that I despise Dom, I think the pregnancy had something to do with it. Eve had better look out.

6. Do you have any other things you think are significant to talk about? Are there any other predictions to be made for the last two sections of the book?

I predict that Dom will not be happy when he discovers Eve’s pregnancy. That Rachel, Benedicte and Eve have/had been pregnant is interesting to me. There almost has to be something there or why would it have been mentioned in Benedicte’s story?

7. Lastly, what do you think of this book overall? Other than for the read-along, why are you reading it? Is it meeting your expectations?

I requested an ARC of this novel from Harper because I love Gothic fiction. The Lantern definitely fits the genre. I think I would like it as a whole more if it had more going on in the first two sections, but I’m enjoying it now. Can’t wait to get back to it.

6 Comments

  • At 2011.10.17 20:45, Kailana said:

    I am really enjoying reading the answers to these questions. I hope you enjoy the third season!

    • At 2011.10.17 20:51, Literate Housewife said:

      Great questions make them fun to read. 🙂 As soon as my dear daughters are asleep, I’m looking forward to checking in on everyone else. I feel like there is a good deal of consensus, but thst others are loving it more than I am.

    • At 2011.10.17 21:06, Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick said:

      I adore this book so far and am really enjoying each page, even though few, if any, secrets are being shared. These are the sorts of stories I love to hunker down with.

      Oh, do I hate Pierre. Hate, hate, hate him.

      • At 2011.10.18 14:56, Caroline said:

        What a great idea those scratch cards would have been. I have a feeling I know Marthe’s perfume. My grandmother used something that fits the description. Don’t know if it still exists. Houbigant’s Quelques fleurs. It didn’t contain lavender but as a whole that’s how I imagine the scent.
        I like parts 3 and 4 better than parts 1 and 2. The descriptions were too much for me and I don’t think it psychlogically all that convincing.

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        • At 2011.10.23 17:30, Kate said:

          Ah, I’d forgotten about the pregnancy. It’s been a few weeks since I finished reading this…now I want to go back and check up on a few things. Thanks for the reminder!

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