The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

The Lace Reader

Brunonia Barry

Trick or treat? Towner Whitney returns home to Salem, only to set out on a scary voyage of self-discovery. Dark family secrets, benign witches and a lovely breezy sense of the sea make for a haunting and atmospheric brew. Add a genuinely surprising twist right at the end - that had me scurrying back to page one - and you've got a fun, clever read that isn't afraid to tackle some serious issues. Definitely a trick and a treat!

Extract

When we were kids, my sister, Lyndley, and I could break into any house. I was a master at picking locks. We used to break into people's houses just to sit in them - 'like Goldilocks tasting porridge and sampling beds,' Lyndley used to say. For the most part, we limited our break-ins to the summerhouses. Down at the Willows one time, we broke into a house and actually cleaned it. That's the kind of thing only a girl would do. Outlaw certainly, but homemaker, too.

Parallels
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike

Books with similar mood

Little

Edward Carey

Raising Sparks

Ariel Khan

The Tiger's Wife

Tea Obreht

Burnt Shadows

Kamila Shamsie

Gilgamesh

Joan London

The Ghost Bride

Yangsze Choo

Library of the Unwritten

A J Hackwith

Goblin

Ever Dundas

Salamander

Thomas Wharton

She Would Be King

Wayétu Moore

Long Black Veil

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Trigger Warning

Neil Gaiman

The Good Mayor

Andrew Nicoll

The Secrets of the Lazarus Club

Tony Pollard

Gloriana's Torch

Patricia Finney

A Dangerous Vine

Barbara Ewing

Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Emma Hooper

All Clear

Connie Willis

The Library of Shadows

Mikkel Birkegaard

Mischling

Affinity Konar

A God in Every Stone

Kamila Shamsie

SOUND

T M Wolf

The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

The Calligrapher's Secret

Rafik Schami

Daniel O'Thunder

Ian Weir

A Beggar at the Gate

Thalassa Ali

The Forgetting Time

Sharon Guskin

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean

David Almond

Illustrado

Miguel Syjuco

Equations of Life

Simon Morden

Blue Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson

The Democrat

Olly Wyatt

Death and the Penguin

Andrey Kurkov

The Dollmaker

Nina Allan

How to be Human

Paula Cocozza

The Age of Magic

Ben Okri

A Tale for the Time Being

Ruth Ozeki

Queen of Dreams

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Connect

Julian Gough

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Stuart Turton

The Maker of Swans

Paraic O'Donnell

The Bees

Laline Paull

Aurorarama

Jean-Christophe Valtat

Lightborn

Tricia Sullivan

Diamond Star Halo

Tiffany Murray

The Thirteenth Tale

Diane Setterfield

The Descendants

Kaui Hart Hemmings

The First Time Lauren Pailing Died

Alyson Rudd

The Masked City

Genevieve Cogman