The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
There aren’t many novels today which can put you in that wonderfully gothic mood that classics like Rebecca and Jane Eyre did so well. This debut by Lawrenson is a novel that can. Set in the present day and the not-so-distant past of a small hamlet in Provence, this novel evokes a sense of unease paralleled by the gorgeous scents and pleasant decay of the homes and landscape.
Eve meets Dom in Switzerland and after a whirlwind romance they move in together to a hamlet in France. He does not want to marry having been married once before. Eve is curious about his first wife, but any attempts she makes to learn more about Rachel are rebuffed by her beau. He adamantly refuses to talk about Rachel, the woman Eve becomes more and more desperate to discover. Is she alive somewhere? Is she dead? If so, how did the woman die?
This novel starts slowly and builds both suspense and tension throughout the novel. Not knowing what time frame you are in is a little confusing at first, but it keeps you off balance, feeling very much like Eve trying to understand the man she is with and the home she is living in.
The Popular Fiction Book Discussion Group will be discussing The Lantern on Tuesday, October 18th at 7pm at the Bridgewater Library.