Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

19 Oct

Genre: Literary fiction, Gothic fiction

Publisher: Harper Collins (Harper)

Pub date: 9 Aug 2011

Source: Publisher

(This is a short review of a book I read a while ago and made notes on. I don’t have this book with me now, so you’ll notice the review is a little thin on the details.)

Synopsis

When Eve meets Dom, she thinks that it is the best thing to ever happen to her. Following a whirlwind romance in Switzerland, Eve and Dom decide to make their home in Les Genevries, set in the beautiful South of France.

While here, Eve is mystified by the secrets that Dom keeps from her and the secrets of the house and its previous occupants.

Dom is reluctant to talk about his ex-wife Rachel, and this only makes Eve more curious to find out what could have scarred him so badly. While their relationship becomes rocky, the house comes alive with its dark corners and mysterious shadows. How will Eve and Dom come through this?

Review

In this absolutely enchanting and deeply atmospheric story, we as readers get to experience the beauty of Les Genevriers, Provence. The lush fields of flowers, the delicious food and wine and the picturesque sunlit countryside all play very important roles in the story.

But as Eve starts to question Dom’s past (and her own decision to live with him) the dark, Gothic elements come to the fore. Lawrenson is masterful with the atmosphere, creating a chilling goosebump-filled ride as we follow Eve on her discoveries.

As many others have said, The Lantern pays definite homage to Rebecca, with Eve even reading the book while in this old abandoned house that they are restoring. The comparisons are inevitable – and while they do give readers an idea of what kind of story to expect, The Lantern stands very well on its own feet.

The voice switches back and forth between the different narrators. And in these switches Eve unfotunately doesn’t come off as the strongest character. Benedicte’s story (from many years in the past) and her character did get my attention a lot more, especially because of her strong character.

The gorgeous lush descriptions of the beauty of Provence is the biggest reason to read The Lantern. You can feel the sunlight and smell the lavender while reading and be transported to Eve and Benedicte’s homes across the years.

Verdict

Definitely recommended for anyone who enjoys atmospheric Gothic novels.

Rating: 4*

*See my Rating policy

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© Stargazerpuj and Stargazerpuj’s Book Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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One Response to “Book Review: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson”

  1. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting October 20, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Welcome back, Puj!

    I’ve been playing catch-up on the reviews, too, and I know what you mean about the “thinness”. But it’s not an issue here at all–this is well-rounded and thoughtful as always.

    I love the atmospheric tone about this one, but I’m always a bit divided about books with alternating POVs as it’s so common for one to end up being more enthralling than the other. This one sounds like a worthy read, though.

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