The Lantern

The Lantern

By: Deborah Lawrenson

Published: 2011

# of pages: 383

Challenge: RIP VI

Official 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.

My opinion: The Lantern is creepy and mysterious, but not gruesome, gory, overdone, or stupidly fake suspense novel. It fits in with the Gothic genre nicely. I was a little confused at first about the narrating style. There's 2 first-person narrators and then a few sections that are told in third-person, but just about one of the characters. It all makes sense at the end, but at the very beginning it's very confusing, especially the two separate first-person narratives. So I will just let you know, at the beginning there's 2 different women "speaking!"

I wish I could say that this book was awesome, a page turner that I couldn't stop thinking about. However, I felt like it was disjointed and that perhaps the author became sidetracked. For example, one of the narrators seems to hold back while telling her story. But suddenly discusses in detail the process of making lavender into scented oil. It didn't match with the narrator at all. I feel like the author was interested in that process, probably went to visit a factory and learn about the process, and wanted to use all of the information in the novel, even though it didn't fit in.

Also, I found it interesting that the title's object didn't play a large part in the book. I wish it had a different title actually, that way it wouldn't seem that the author meant for the lantern be such a core part of the story. Also, I didn't appreciate how Lawrenson explicitly mentions the connection of this novel to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I think the similarities between the two novels are obvious and it was silly that the narrator Eve was telling the reader this.

Overall, even though some of the things about the story bothered me, I enjoyed the overall plot, the characters, and the amount of suspense and mystery. I recommend this to readers who want a modern day Gothic tale.

Why I gave this book 3/5 stars: Neat plot, unique story, not very well written, a little disjointed.

Other reviews:

Life by Candlelight

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