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The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
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The Lantern (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Deborah Lawrenson

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4796021,531 (3.53)50
Member:tina1969
Title:The Lantern
Authors:Deborah Lawrenson
Info:Orion Publishing Group (2011), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (2011)

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I should have stopped reading this book after I got to page 100 and was already irritated with it. The animal cruelty didn't need to happen, except that maybe it was showing that Pierre really was capable of murder. The thing that really ticked me off about this book and it ticks me off with EVERY book that does this. There were technically two stories in this book. One in the present and one in the past by over 50 years. While reading, you didn't know the story had switched, you didn't know who the voice was from since it was all written in the first person and you didn't know which person was talking. The chapters were really short so when you were getting used to one narrator a different one popped up. I want to be absorbed into the story, not work at figuring out who the narrator is. Start the chapter with a name or something to let the reader know. Some people will enjoy this book so because of that I gave it 2 stars. But I wish I hadn't wasted my time on it. I did like the cover artwork. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
From Amazon:

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?

My Thoughts:

This author seemed in love with her ability to create intrigue in the French countryside but she lost sight of "hooking" the reader. As I lumbered to the conclusion it felt more like I'd endured rather than satisfied as I finished it. What began as a disguised love story grew more and more predictable the longer I read. There were far too many mood sequences along with bits & pieces of contributions to the end result. I applaud the author's wonderful use of a wanton vocabulary of description; still, it was as though I had to plod through 75% of adjectives and quirky time changes to get to the remaining 25% of plot. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
A retelling of Rebecca, with a separate story intertwined. I feel as though the book would have been stronger without the subplot, and it was hard for me to sympathize with the main character. ( )
  macescamilla | Feb 21, 2016 |
Although Lawrenson has a heavy hand with foreshadowing, nothing is as it seems; not even the main character's name. An intriguing book. ( )
  lkarr | Feb 6, 2016 |
Initially, I had some difficulty getting into this contemporary Gothic novel with its alternating story line; but soon the pieces fell into place as I settled in for an enjoyable mystery. When vacationing Eve meets the secretive and mysterious Dominic in Switzerland and their whirlwind romance leads them to purchase Les Genevriers, a secluded farmhouse near the lavender fields in the South of France countryside. Dom reluctance to marry Eve appears to be connected to the reasons behind his divorce to Rachel, his previous wife, a relationship that Dom refuses to talk about to Eve. The longer that Eve lives at the farmhouse, the more the bright sunny region is subsumed by the ever oppressing, dark and foreboding farmhouse life with Dom. Additionally, she discovers that the farmhouse was previously owned by the Lincels, a family with its own secrets and evil deeds. The setting becomes a character in its own right through the author's skilled descriptive prose. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 23, 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.
Haiku summary

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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