Literature: The Lace Reader

“…an image will begin to form . . . in the space between what is real and what is only imagined.”
–from The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry

Title: The Lace Reader//Author: Brunonia Barry//Publisher: William Morrow//July 29, 2008//394 p.

I’m always looking for an excuse to go to Boulder, so when I saw that the Boulder Bookstore was hosting author Brunonia Barry on her The Lace Reader book tour last week, I turned up, hoping to hear more about the story behind the story. I knew, for instance, that The Lace Reader is Barry’s first novel-sensation (on the New York Times bestseller list for a few weeks, but recently knocked off by several newbies). It is the story of a self-described “crazy” woman, Towner Whitney, who returns to her hometown of Salem, MA when her Great Aunt Eva goes missing. The Whitney women have a gift of seeing the future in a piece of lace, and that ability offers insight into the details of Towner’s convoluted past. The Lace Reader is an entertaining and suspenseful read, with a host of interesting characters including witches, a fundamentalist preacher, and a woman who shelters abused women on an island just off Salem’s coast.

I read books because I love stories, but I go to book readings because I love to hear from authors about what makes them tick. Barry has an interesting story, herself. She fielded questions and was candid about her worries to make upcoming deadlines. It took her seven years to write this book, and she self-published it locally before pursuing national publication. When that time came, the book sold at auction in a two-book deal, and it has now sold in more than twenty countries. That’s a story to remember!

More upcoming events through November: Brunonia Barry will be reading and signing on a non-stop schedule…from San Diego, to Chicago, and finally back to her hometown: Salem, MA.

To read my more formal-type review of Brunonia Barry’s The Lace Reader in Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, click here.


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