Friday, March 30, 2012

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson


A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against the lush backdrop of Provence
Meeting Dom was the most incredible thing that had ever happened to me. When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom in Switzerland, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les GenÉvriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the South of France. Each enchanting day delivers happy discoveries: hidden chambers, secret vaults, a beautiful wrought-iron lantern. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive.

But with autumn’s arrival the days begin to cool, and so, too, does Dom. Though Eve knows he bears the emotional scars of a failed marriage—one he refuses to talk about—his silence arouses suspicion and uncertainty. The more reticent Dom is to explain, the more Eve becomes obsessed with finding answers—and with unraveling the mystery of his absent, beautiful ex-wife, Rachel.

Like its owner, Les GenÉvriers is also changing. Bright, warm rooms have turned cold and uninviting; shadows now fall unexpectedly; and Eve senses a presence moving through the garden. Is it a ghost from the past or a manifestation of her current troubles with Dom? Can she trust Dom, or could her life be in danger?

Eve does not know that Les GenÉvriers has been haunted before. BÉnÉdicte Lincel, the house’s former owner, thrived as a young girl within the rich elements of the landscape: the violets hidden in the woodland, the warm wind through the almond trees. She knew the bitter taste of heartbreak and tragedy—long-buried family secrets and evil deeds that, once unearthed, will hold shocking and unexpected consequences for Eve.

My thoughts:

This is my very first TLC Book tour.  I have read lots of posts from other bloggers on different tours, but this was my first opportunity to take part in one.  I am the last stop on the tour so if you are interested in reading other thoughts about the book, click on the link and you should be able to find all the other hosts posts to give you more information.

At first the amount of description the author gave made me a bit worried, there was so much detail about the colors and scents, but that gave way to such a well told story that I was glad to have all the extra details to engage my senses.  Central to the story are Eve and Dom, a couple who meet by chance and engage in a whirlwind courtship that leads them to live in an isolated home without phone or Internet access far from friends and family.  It sounds romantic at first, no need to work unless you want to and lots of time to read and reflect, but then the questions creep in.  Why won't Dom reveal anything at all about his first wife?  Why does he become so hard and cruel?  Why does he not admit to knowing someone who clearly recognizes him from the past? 

It called to mind Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and then Eve is reading the book, which honestly was the first book she mentioned reading that I have actually read.  As she does he own searching into the past there continues to be the presence she feels in the house with her.  Is it Rachel, the first wife who mysteriously disappeared two years ago or is it the long ago inhabitants of the house that had it's start hundreds of years ago.  Is it the child who hid the picture book in the hay loft?  And who is the woman whose story is intertwined with Eve's, how does she play into the present, why is she also seeing ghosts of her past?

This story had me not wanting to put it down, it pulled me in from the first sitting and kept me reading to find out.  Now I really want to pull out my copy  of Rebecca and reread it.  I;ve been reading so much in the YA dystopian genre lately that I needed this to pull  me out of it for a little bit and give me a more subtle but real mystery.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062049698
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Pages: 400

Here's the tour post and where the master schedule resides:  I am the last stop on the tour so you can checkout what other bloggers thought.

Author's Website here.
Author's Blog:  here.
Facebook page:  here.


  1. I'm so glad that your first experience as a TLC tour host was for a book that you really ended up enjoying - what a treat!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. :)

  2. I enjoyed the book but not as much as I wanted too. For some reason I could not getaway from a gothic novel set in the present. I just never connected for me.

    I'm glad your first TLC Book Tour was fun. I've been hosting for them for a while now and I always enjoy the experience.