Back to the Lace Reader, Brunonia Barry certainly knows how to evoke setting, Salem comes alive, today and Salem of the witch hunts. Women and needlework, the telling of our stories, lacemaking comes front and center in the lives, secrets and betrayals of this New England family and those whom they touch.
In a library book I picked up, Lace: The Elegant Veil by Janine Montupet and Ghislaine Schoeller, it states the first American lacemaking center was located in Ipswich, Massachusetts, a town founded by colonists in 1634. These colonists came from places in England, where bobbin lace was made and so brought their craft to America. Needlework was the bridge between the past and the new future. The ladies on Yellow Dog Island, use the lace to remake their lives, to forget the past and accept a new future.
The Lace Reader is a wild mix of a story; mystery, historical, fortune-telling by lace, romance, abuse, religious zealots, family secrets and recovery. Narrative changes tense and people with frequency. The end sweeps the reader along like the tide, pulling and pushing the reader with it.
Occasionally its seems too much, like everything has to be included or lost, it does have plenty of surprises along the way but like gazing through the lace some characters lose definition. However I think it’s worth the read, and would recommend picking it up, and I would certainly read the next one, since Barry intends to make this a trilogy.