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The Lantern Paperback – 23 Jun 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (23 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409135489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409135487
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Time-slip novels are tricky to get right and this one nails it. (Amanda Ross SHE)

A modern day Rebecca, complete with an eerie house ... and nail-biting happenings. (ESSENTIALS)

'A perfect summer read - a perfect read for any time you want to be wrapped up in a great story - I recommend The Lantern unreservedly.' (CORNFLOWER BOOKS BLOG)

'Deborah Lawrenson's new novel, a modern Gothic tale set in the lavender-scented landscape of Provence, serves up an escapist mix of mystery, romance and murder.' (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

This is a beautiful story with exquisitely dark undertones. (RELISH READS BLOG)

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Luberon region, The Lantern is a beautifully written story of mystery and love in France. (FRANCE MAGAZINE)

Book Description

A brooding, contemporary novel of secrets, lost love, perfume and Provence

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Format: Paperback
An engrossing read, rich in the scents and sights of Provence. If you want to lose yourself in a book this summer, this could be the one for you, with romance, a hint of dark suspense, a mystery and a nod to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.

It isn't Rebecca, actually (though that's one of the points of the novel), but a lovely weave of a past story of a run-down house in the South of France and the present-day experiences of a book-reading heroine, "Eve". In between her fertile imaginings and the very real fears she has to face, there are great vistas of lavender fields and hill-top villages, and tiny telling details about perfume and music, psychological insight and the possibilities of spirits. The writing is beautiful and I was utterly enchanted and gripped.
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By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've read and enjoyed Deborah Lawrenson's books before - I can heartily recommend "The Art of Falling" and "Songs of Blue and Gold" - so I was delighted to receive this one for review, especially as it's now been selected for The TV Book Club Summer List. I'm always a fan of dual time frame stories, although I would say the structure of this one takes a little getting used to with its alternating short chapters. But both stories are highly engaging, the modern one dealing with Dom and Eve and the mystery around the disappearance of his wife Rachel, and the earlier story (1920s on) of Benedicte, her blind perfumiere sister Marthe and her cruel and evil brother Pierre. This is a book with a wonderful sense of place - the hamlet of Les Genevriers lives and breathes, and I'd highly recommend a look at the actual setting in the YouTube video - although the author's descriptions are so vivid you feel you've seen it already. This book is an absolute feast for the senses, particularly the sense of smell , and Provence is magnificently present throughout its pages. There's also a real sense of magic and mystery, and a touch of the supernatural. An enthralling read, and I loved it.
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By A.M.Boughey VINE VOICE on 22 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The lantern pitches itself as a modern Gothic novel, centered around the Luberon region of France and more specifically a run down parochial village.
I've actually visited this picture postcard area of France, and Ms Lawrenson captures it beautifully in this story. It's the kind of area that people who've never visited the country expect everywhere to look, in a perfectly harmless but romantic and naive kind of way.
The story centers around a young girl from the aforementioned tiny town, and her a mysterious beau who captivates her heart and mind, in standard romantic fiction fashion. The story has been compared to Daphne Du Mauriers Rebecca in this way, but the story unfolds in many different directions, making it stand on it's own merits.
As the author herself admits "Along the way it became a novel about perfume and blindness and the past life of houses, and also about books, reading and the imagination"

Nothing bad to say about this book at all really, it's not going to overwhelm or surprise anyone, and will fit perfectly for the easy reader, or those who like some harmless escapism on the beach, or on a traveling vacation to fill the down time. 4 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful novel to take on holiday, to France or anywhere else. Combining two stories, one in the past, one in the present, the connection is an old house, Les Genevriers. In the present, it has new occupants, Dom and Eve, who have moved to France to start a new life. The relationship between them is new, and the mood of menace gradually increases as the seasons change and Eve wonders about Dom's past. The story from the past tells the story of the three people who grew up and lived at Les Genevriers, Benedicte, her sister Marthe and brother Pierre. In the past too there are dark secrets and sadnesses which are gradually unravelled. There is enough plot in both strands of the story to drive the narrative along, but it is the language and atmosphere that really makes this a superb read. Lawrenson evokes the sights, and very importantly fragrances of the Luberon region of France superbly well. It isn't all picturesque and summer though. Lawrenson manipulates the feeling of the book superbly well to build up a real sense of menace and hints of the supernatural. The culmination of the book is satisfying without being trite, and I thoroughly recommend this as an excellent, evocative read with a superb sense of place.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dom and Eve have a whirlwind romance and end up buying a run down property in Provence called Les Genevriers. Dom is a secretive man and Eve struggles to get much out of him, including what happened to his ex-wife, Rachel. Running alongside this story is that of Benedicte Lancel, the former occupier of the property for many years, along with her family for some of that time.

I think I must have missed something with this book. I was very keen to read it for a number of reasons, mainly that I liked The Art of Falling by the same author, and also because I love dual time frame novels. However, for me, the two stories were not clearly delineated and although I mostly knew whose story I was reading at any one time, I would have liked it to be made a bit clearer, maybe with a date or a different font. I was reading a proof copy, so this may well have happened in the finished version.

Also, the stories meandered quite a lot, they didn't really flow and the book as a whole was overly descriptive to the point where I was crying out for some decent dialogue. It's a nice enough book, and clearly the author loves the region of Provence in France, but it kind of left me feeling that this could have been a much better book had it had a tighter pair of storylines.
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