2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ok in places, dull in others, not so good overall,
This review is from: The Lace Reader (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having read the synopsis and the reviews already posted on here I was really looking forward to reading this book as it seemed to appeal to a lot of my interests, however within the first few chapters I felt really disappointed. Sometimes the beginning of a book can lag and then it picks up however this book seemed to maintain a continuity of mundane narration. I have to say that not a great deal happens in the beginning, the whereabouts of Eva is resolved pretty quickly and the ensuing 'mystery' around her disappearance wasn't really worth finding out about. The things that particularly annoyed me was that the author made too much of a big deal about Salem and seemed to make every inhabitant in the city pro-witch or a white witch or a goth or connected with some kind of witchy cult - although I am interested in these things even I thought it was over-egging the cake. Secondly, it smacked a lot of the Red Tent in its descriptions of relationships between women making us seem like we're unable to function unless we're part of a lacemaking, sewing, tea leaf reading circle. Thirdly every woman in teh book was made to seem like some helpless women and had none of the bravery and determination that Margaret Atwood bestows on her female characters. Her characters are also victims of each other as well as men but each seems to preserve a little bit of fighting spirit that enables them to rebuild what has been destroyed which is something that i really love about her books. This book makes it seem that every woman who's been the victim of some terrible life event or abuse becomes feeble and mouse-like seeking refuge in a women's circle made up of other equally damaged women.
Overall, I could see what was trying to be acheived but I don't think it was pulled off to a great extent. However saying that, it seems that quite a fair few others have rated it highly therefore I think this is a case of marmite - you'll either love it or hate it!