Book Club Kit: The Lace Reader

The Lace ReaderThe Lace Reader
by Brunonia Barry
First Published: 2008
9 copies & Reading Guide

Having left her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, fifteen years ago under troubling circumstances, Towner Whitney relunctantly returns after her eighty-five-year-old great-aunt Eva suddently disappears.

Reading Guides:
LitLovers: includes Summary, Author Info, Book Reviews and Discussion Questions
from LaceReader.com: includes Discussion Questions

Reviews:
The New York Times – “Book Review: The Lace Reader” by Janet Maslin
The Guardian – “Divination by Doily” by Joanna Briscoe

Brunonia Barry on the Web:
Barry’s website: http://www.brunoniabarry.com/
Her blog: the Bru-Haha
Follow her on Twitter: @BrunoniaBarry
Like her on Facebook.

Multimedia:
NPR Interview: “Self-Published ‘Lace Reader’ Began as a Dream” by Lynn Neary
Documentary of The Lace Reader


Similar Reads:
The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
The Triumph of Katie Byrne by Barbara Taylor Bradford
The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Book Club Kit) by David Wroblewski

Did your book club read The Lace Reader? Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment below.

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3 comments on “Book Club Kit: The Lace Reader

  1. To find out more about the real tunnels in Salem Brunonia Barry talks about read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and then take the cool Salem walking tour about them. Learn how 144 people hid behind the creation of a park to build a series of tunnels in Salem utilizing the nation’s first National Guard to build them so a superior court justice, a Secretary of the Navy, and a bunch of Senators could avoid paying Jefferson’s custom duties. Engineered by the son of America’s first millionaire.

  2. This book is nothing like I thought it would be. I thought it would be a mystery with physic readings. Instead, it ended up being about abuse and mental illness. The big question was who really was the mother of the twins and why was one given away? Our society in todays world takes no responsibility for all the people who are on our streets with mental disabilities. How could a grown woman live in such a fantasy world without anyone knowing about her illness? The mother was helping abused women but seemed to also have mental issues. Was her mental state partly because she thought she was a witch? Why was she believing she was a witch? (Comments from Judy T)

    Our discussion was lively. Participants had very mixed feelings about the book. One participant, who had read the book twice, pointed out that Towner begins the book saying that you cannot believe her. This participant used this phrase to question the validity of anything told in Towner’s voice. By using this criteria from the start of the book, it might make more sense.

  3. The Maricopa Public Library’s book club read this for our first meeting. Although not many of us really liked the book, we still had an interesting discussion about it because of its twist ending. Personally, the ending angered me (“Really? Everything I thought was true and really happened . . . wasn’t, and didn’t?!”). However, upon further reflection I came to appreciate the author’s talent in putting the puzzle pieces together (and leaving “holes” in other places, on purpose). Some of the plot points did not make sense after knowing the ending, but many others fell into place. All our members agreed we were glad we read the book–for all these reasons–but many said they weren’t sure they’d recommend it to others!

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