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The Lace Reader Audiobook

The Lace Reader

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Audible Editor Reviews

Towner Whitney admits that she's crazy, coming from a long line of eccentrics in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. Towner is forced to confront her past and reconstruct her future with the help of a guardian ghost, a modern-day witch, a confused detective, a predator preacher, and fortune-telling lace. Narrator Alyssa Bresnahan uses tone and pacing to make this unusual cast of characters completely believable - even the ghost. In addition, her straightforward voicing of Towner provides this character with the credibility needed to give the surprise ending extra zing. Salem is the perfect setting for this crazy-quilt expedition into the meaning of reality, and Bresnahan is the perfect choice for guiding listeners through this mesmerizing journey of self-discovery.

Publisher's Summary

Every gift has a price...

Every piece of lace has a secret...

"My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time...."

Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations. But the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.

The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths, in which the reader quickly finds it's nearly impossible to separate fact from fiction. But as Towner Whitney points out early on in the novel, "There are no accidents."

©2006 Brunonia Barry; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Barry excels at capturing the feel of smalltown life, and balances action with close looks at the characters' inner worlds. Her pacing and use of different perspectives show tremendous skill and will keep readers captivated all the way through." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (603 )
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3.8 (239 )
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4.0 (235 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kristopher poulsbo, WA, USA 09-09-08
    Kristopher poulsbo, WA, USA 09-09-08
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    "Wonderful book I must hear again"

    Does a wonderful job of taking the listener straight to coastal Massachusetts and into the narrator's head. The flow of the narrative itself is enjoyable and the ending has me itching to hear it all over again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 09-07-08
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 09-07-08 Listener Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Murky"

    I do not understand why people write like this. Here is the potential for a very good story, yet it comes off as a series of blurry snapshots. Characters emerge with high drama in the extreme, and come and go with little context or definition, and the chronology is difficult to follow. The lace motif is interesting but is not hardwired to the narrative.

    However, there is occasionally enough detail to stay interested, and there is an excellent sense of place. The ambiance of the setting, the feeling of the town and its characters, so linked to the water, go a long way towards sustaining the story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 01-07-09
    Lyn LADY LAKE, FL, United States 01-07-09 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself!

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    "New England history"

    New England is always a great venue for a tale, this was an interesting read, unfortunately I am one who likes ends tied up and I was left not quite sure about a lot of the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arqueologa United States 06-03-17
    Arqueologa United States 06-03-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
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    "A nice meander through old-school New England"

    This is definitely a story requiring a certain suspension of expectations; it wanders at points, and is slow at points. That said, it also avoids the kind of formulaic structure that would make it seem more like a Lifetime movie, and because of that I ended up really liking it. The narration is very good, and the story is atmospheric and moody. The one thing that really compromised the performance for me is the acoustic guitar interludes, which seemed to drop in out of nowhere to jolt the listener out of the scene. Try to ignore them, since the story is still worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 03-22-17
    Amy 03-22-17 Member Since 2008
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    50
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    "Lace reader"

    Wish the author had gone into more depth on the history of the characters slightly confusing on which characters or alive or dead during the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tabatha Schmitt 12-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful crazy book!"

    A beautiful and scary story to see how fragile we can all be. As mother of twins raised in Boston it might have resounded a little louder to me but by the end I was in tears. This is not light reading but one you should consider to detox your heart. The only thing I didn't like was the narration. It seemed like a an English lit professor was reading. But I think this was the directors fault and not the narrator as she seems very talented.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret SYRACUSE, NY, United States 04-12-16
    Margaret SYRACUSE, NY, United States 04-12-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Light but thoughtful chick-lit"

    A classic plot of troubles and transformation with a cast full of women of all ages and in all stages of life make this a fun read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley 02-11-16
    Shirley 02-11-16
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    "Loved this story!!!!"

    Living an hour away from Salem, MA this audio story brought me to all my favorite spots while captivating me into its story. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 02-04-16
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 02-04-16 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Eccentric New England Ladies"

    This is a lovely character study of well funded eccentricities. It's a fascinating look at psychic readers. And ( spoiler alert) a rather bad use of multiple personalities as a plot device. I loved the story and the characters, only to be quite disgusted with the cheap ending. It still was worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie CICERO, IN, United States 09-16-13
    Julie CICERO, IN, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Undecided"
    What did you love best about The Lace Reader?

    I liked how they wove the pieces together


    Would you be willing to try another book from Brunonia Barry? Why or why not?

    Maybe, I am still trying to decide if I liked this book or not.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Sometimes her narration was choppy


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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