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The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

The Lantern (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Deborah Lawrenson

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4725821,929 (3.55)50
Title:The Lantern
Authors:Deborah Lawrenson
Info:Orion Publishing Group (2011), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (2011)


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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 |
The comparisons with Rebecca are perhaps inevitable, and are probably even intended, however if you loved Daphne du Maurier's classic, you might feel short-changed by this. While there are parallels, this is a somewhat different story, set in the present time and Les Genevriers is not Manderley. If you can enjoy the similarities and the story for itself instead of looking for a modernized version of Rebecca, you probably will be ok.

The story is told in very brief chapters alternating between Eve and Benedicte, who lived at Les Genevriers in the present and around WWII, respectively. Secrets abound and the ghostly reminders of the past make their presence felt.

I can't rate this book any lower because of the beautiful writing. The author clearly has an initimate knowledge of the countryside at the foot of the Luberon mountains and she effortlessly transports the reader to Provence. I thought I could smell the lavender, feel the sunshine and taste the wine. I also could perfectly understand Eve's and Dom's relationship. That said, there were some quibblres with the plot, and I thought the story went back and forth between the two females leads far to quickly, constantly interupting the flow of the story. Rebecca it ain't, but overall, I enjoyed it as a quick and easy read. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
The Lantern Deborah Lawrence
3 Stars

Firstly I must say I loved the writing style it was creepy, built up the tension and was in a way poetic my problem with the book was the story line.

There are 2 stories alternating throughout the book you have our present day narrator who is involved in a whirlwind romance with enigmatic Dom, together they buy a run down farm house in Provence and as they live together our narrator discovers she doesnt really know the man she is living with and that there is some mystery regarding his first wife who to all intents and purposes has vanished of course Dom refuses to talk about her making the situation worse.

My problem with this story line it is sooo totally Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, there was a point where the narrator compares her life with the story of Rebecca and I thought ok the author has realised this is too similar and is going to take a different tack (wrong) the details and setting may have been changed but at its heart this was a retelling of Rebecca.

The second narrative and my favourite part of the book tells the story of the Lincel family through the eyes of the youngest daughter, this section is disturbing and menacing and the author does a fantastic job of building tension and also of capturing Provence and the lavender fields its worth reading for this story alone.

Off course the two narratives at some point have to collide, which style wise made me think of Kate Mosse however the way the narratives collide is different from the usual way they do in a Kate Mosse novel but it still made me think a lot of technique had been borrowed.

Overall if I had not read the other books previously I am sure I would have enjoyed this book a lot more as it was for me there was nothing really new in the story or the way it was written and that put me off. ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 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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