Book Review: The Lace Reader

In many ways, this was a book well worth reading. I feared at first that it would turn out to be a “look at all the witches in Salem” story but discovered a nuanced, well-written book that delves into a woman’s past. The use of an unreliable narrator is always tricky for an author to pull off, and Barry does an exceptional job for the most part. She balances what readers learn through the protagonist with the viewpoints of other characters, all filtered through the protagonist but valid nonetheless.
In addition, the writing itself is of very good quality. That alone kept me reading long enough to give the plotline a chance, and to connect with the main character. I was happy that it kept me reading long enough to care about the woman.
There were moments when it slipped back into too-common cliches, and a few times I thought that if it continued in that vein, I would put it down. But I never abandoned the novel.
The ending was beautifully written, well crafted, and yet it was dissatisfying. Despite all the points that proved the protagonist was unreliable, her total lack of memory concerning her sister simply wasn’t credible. I was disappointed over this but not to the point that I will refuse to read other books by this author. I will seek out her other books to see if she handled them better.

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