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The Lantern: A Novel by Deborah Lawrenson
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The Lantern: A Novel (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Deborah Lawrenson

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5286529,569 (3.49)53
Member:AllisonKraft
Title:The Lantern: A Novel
Authors:Deborah Lawrenson
Info:Harper (2011), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (2011)

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
A gothic novel set in Provence that mirrors du Maurier's Rebecca. This first-time author is a master at writing vivid descriptions of the sights and smells of Provence thru all four seasons. There are two alternating narrators, both with compelling stories that intertwine. There are 2 nasty animal abuse scenes I did not read, but they were true to character development, just skip them. There is some fun decorating/renovating stuff that I loved to ice the cake. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Switching between past and present was clumsy at first and I had a hard time understanding what Eve saw in Dom at all. I did enjoy the mystery, but I'm not exactly satisfied with how it all concluded. I'd still like to read more from this author. She did have some beautiful phrases and again, I liked the mystery from the past. ( )
  AWahle | Mar 22, 2018 |
My favorite book!!!!! A sensuous murder mystery that makes you feel as if you are in provence france.
  michallibrarything | Jan 6, 2018 |
Rebecca for 2011. A young woman meets an older man, falls in love, and moves with him to a ramshackle manor in the south of France. A neighbor begins asking pesky questions. Suspictions arise. The Lantern is not quite a ghost story nor a murder mystery, though it toys with both genres.

Not much suspense and slow moving but if you want long, languorous descriptions of Provence and the lavender industry, this is your book. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
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Book description
When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to purchase Les Genevriers, an abandoned house in a rural hamlet in the south of France. As the beautiful Provence summer turns to autumn, Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house, in particular the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful first wife, Rachel. Whilst Eve tries to untangle the secrets surrounding Rachel's last recorded days, Les Genevriers itself seems to come alive. As strange events begin to occur with frightening regularity, Eve's voice becomes intertwined with that of Benedicte Lincel, a girl who lived in the house decades before. As the tangled skeins of the house's history begin to unravel, the tension grows between Dom and Eve. In a page-turning race, Eve must fight to discover the fates of both Benedicte and Rachel, before Les Genevriers' dark history has a chance to repeat itself.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0062049690, Hardcover)

Amazon Exclusive: A TALE OF PROVENCE: The story behind The Lantern

I’ve been having a love affair with Provence for more than 25 years. The light, the views, the colors, the heat—I find them all intoxicating. I went for the first time with the college boyfriend who would become my husband; his family had had a house in the Luberon for some twenty years. We finally bought our own property in France five years ago after my husband decided to give up banking and realize his long-held ambition to compose music.

“Les Genévriers” (not the property’s real name) is described in The Lantern more or less as we found it. Its setting is as accurate as I can make it without giving away its precise location. The Luberon area is one of the most sought-after locations in Provence, known for its hilltop villages, lavender, abundant fruit and clear bright light. It is the area Peter Mayle famously chronicled in A Year in Provence.

In addition to the abandoned farming hamlet, the story has its roots in the lavender fields and perfume industry in the region. There are small lavender fields and tiny family-run lavender distilleries all around where we live, but the main centers are to the north in Sault and, as described in the novel, to the east at Manosque and the Valensole plateau.

The idea of a blind perfumer came from the realization that there were strips of Braille on the packaging used by beauty product brand L’Occitane en Provence, based at Manosque. In 1997 the company created the foundation Provence dans tous les Sens (All the Senses of Provence) to introduce visually-impaired children to the world of perfume creation. In the novel, Marthe Lincel finds her true talent as a perfume “nose” after a visit to the Distillerie Musset from the school for the blind she attends in Manosque, although this episode takes place in the 1930s.

For most of the 20th century in this region, there was a gradual erosion of traditional farming as young people moved to the towns to seek work in the new industries and factories. The struggle was intense for those left behind on the hill farms in a region that was poor until the advent of mass tourism. In The Lantern, as Pierre--the only brother--takes off for better-paid work, and Marthe finds increasing success in Paris, this is the struggle faced by Bénédicte at “Les Genévriers”—and the past which gradually comes to disquiet Eve, the heroine of the contemporary narrative strand of the novel.

Like Eve, I am an avid reader and worryingly prone to over-imagination. While at the house our first summer, camping on stone floors, I re-read Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and was as captivated by it as ever--but my thoughts wandered... what if I had come to this place knowing less about the area, or perhaps, less about the man I was with?

--Deborah Lawrenson

A Look Inside The Lantern
Click on the images below to open larger versions.

Lavender field in sunlight Garden door to the walnut wine cellar View from Gordes to the Luberon ridge A room with a view Side door into the alleyway

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Drawn to an older man, Eve embarks on a whirlwind romance that soon offers a new life and a new home--Les Genevriers, an old house in a charming hamlet amid the fragrant lavender fields of Provence. Their relationship becomes strained, however, as Dom grows quiet and distant and Eve feels a haunting presence. The more reluctant Dom is to tell her about his past, the more Eve is drawn to it--and to the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful ex-wife.

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