The Lantern
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The Lantern

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  3,203 ratings  ·  784 reviews
A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against thelush 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 enc...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Harper
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Jul 19, 2011 Lora marked it as to-read
Shelves: adult-lit
I just won this on Goodreads giveaway! Since I've never won anything in my life (true story), I'm really excited.

I feel like this dog:

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There are two women controlling this book. I don’t mean the two female characters whose voices carry the narrative of the book, though perhaps they are an unwitting reflection of this phenomenon. I mean, the women who wrote this book. The first was the woman who opened the door to me, wearing perfectly fitted Lucky jeans and an enormous diamond ring, who ushered me quickly into her living room where the other members of the monthly book club awaited, and the second was a shy sister who I acciden...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.875* of five

The Publisher Says: A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against thelush 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...more
Sep 12, 2011 Stephanie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: noone
Lush and as languid as the fig drunken wasps described in its pages, The Lanterns switches between the past and the present but the present day feels anachronistic and drugged by the atmosphere of the past. Although the lush imagery delighted my senses a quarter of the way through I still was looking for a plot. I was reminded of Harris' Five Quarters of the Orange.

Then disaster. I was assaulted by a scene of animal cruelty so intense it made me retch. Although I was eager to learn why a woman a...more
Final Rating closer to 4-1/2 stars

This book earned the extra half-star for the "wow!" that escaped my lips as I read the last page.

What I love most about this book is the descriptive writing. So many sights, sounds, and smells are described in vivid detail: the smell of Maman’s almond cookies, the colors of the hills marching to the horizon, the crumbling decay of the old farmhouse. It is this wonderful, expressive prose that pulls you along as the author offers the story up in tiny bites, alter...more
Rating Clarificaion: 4.5 Stars

This richly descriptive novel borrows heavily from Daphne Du Maurier's classic gothic, Rebecca, with one of the storylines featuring the mysterious and omipotent wife, the older and secretive husband, and the young and naive narrator. If fact, author Lawrenson makes it quite clear to the reader that this is her intention when she has Eve, the present-time narrator reading Rebecca early on in the novel. Eve is called such by her lover Dom, even though that isn't her...more
"The Lantern" by Deborah Lawrenson ~ Far Cry from Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca"
The Dame's Impression's :
I’m having such a difficult time with this book. I’ve wanted to love it after all the hype, but it’s difficult. First, I’m turned off by the author’s trying so hard to be cultured and elegant, or making much of it. Maybe it’s our American up-bringing, but isn’t understatement preferable? So much seems contrived and overdone. It made the book move very slowly.

The scents seem to permeate the st...more
Maia B.
I dithered for a long time over what rating to give this book. On the one hand, I did finish it. On the other, it was jerky, tediously written, peopled with very dull characters, too long, practically plotless, and a blatant copy of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca.

So...I went with one star. (For the record, that means I didn't like it.)

We meet "Eve" (not her real name, as she says), she meets Dom, and they move to Provence. There's very little falling in love. There's very much skipping over of this...more
The Lantern was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for HarperCollins.

4.5 stars

The Lantern is a superbly written and beautiful story that is completely enthralling. I found it hard to put down because the mystery of the story is so fascinating. I found the author’s writing style to be quite wordy at first, but each description causes the scene to unfold as if you were actually experiencing it. I’ve incorporated several lines from the story itself to add some of that descriptiveness to my review a...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Here's my advice: buy this book and then put aside a whole morning or afternoon to dive in because I promise you're not going to want to stop. Interruptions will be painful. (Have someone bring tea or wine, though, because the story begs for that.)

At first, I thought this was going to be a literal retelling of Rebecca. The heroine, a younger woman, has a whirlwind romance with a moody older man -- Dom -- who is tight-lipped about his charismatic first wife, Rachel. Like du Maurier's book, the he...more
Heather Book Savvy Babe
I am rating The Lantern 2 of 5 stars, which means that I feel pretty neutral about this book. This was definitely not a bad book, but it was not the best fit for me. The pacing was very slow in this book, I was fifty percent into the book before it started to get more interesting. The point-of-view changes regularly, and in the beginning I was often confused. Also with the point-of-view change, timing was also confusing at times. In one chapter, a character would be speaking in present tense, an...more
Rebecca for 2011. A young woman meets an older man, falls in love, and moves with him to a ramshackle manor in the south of France. A neighbor begins asking pesky questions. Suspictions arise. The Lantern is not quite a ghost story nor a murder mystery, though it toys with both genres.

Not much suspense and slow moving but if you want long, languorous descriptions of Provence and the lavender industry, this is your book.
Megan D. Neal
I couldn't finish this one. The overblown "lushness" of the language just turned me off. I felt like the author was trying too hard to make each sentence a work of art, and by the end of it I had no idea what she said. The other thing that bothered me was the blatant similarity to Du Maurier's Rebecca. There were other things I found wrong, but I won't belabor the point.
Heather Panella
While the language in this book was beautiful and the premise of the story was a good one, there just was not much to it. I really didn't see the threads of the various storylines come together until the last 50 or so pages and the build up didn't lead to anything overly exciting.
Tara Chevrestt
Couldn't stand this... I personally feel it's nothing but description after description... and it felt as though it was going nowhere and at a very slow pace.
Upset I wasted time reading this book...
I was disappointed with this book, although the last 100 pages or so kept me engaged enough to read to the end.

There is no denying that the writing is beautiful and evocative. Although, it feels at times as if it is overdone. A bit like gorging yourself on too much delicious chocolate, I felt wearied and stuffed full of descriptive prose at points.

I also have a bit of a problem with Lawrenson adopting Rebecca as the basis of the plot and the initial structure of the narrative. Its not wrong exac...more
The past and the present are woven together when Eve and her new love Dominic buy a crumbling old estate in France. Eve has left her home, friends and work to be with Dom but the more time that passes the more bothered she becomes by his inability to discuss his ex-wife Rachel. Dom's dark moods are upsetting and Eve begins to wonder how well she really knows him. As they focus on renovating the estate they discover objects and hidden rooms that hold dark memories for the former owner Benedicte L...more
"I've been having a love affair with Provence for more than 25 years," says Deborah Lawrenson. As if that wouldn't be obvious to anyone who reads this book. "The Lantern" is her first novel to be published in the United States and it reads like a love letter to the coastal region, nearly all its splendor illustrated through artful and meticulous descriptive passages. Though some might think this is an inarguable strength, it ends up being her greatest weakness, the novel's verbiage resulting in...more
Shelby | Double Up Books
Disappointing and rather predictable. Didn't enjoy the two story lines. I was expecting more due to hype.
Tales inspired by literary classics can be interesting, fresh, and original. Sadly, I don't think Lawrenson's US debut lived up to this potential, though I can see where some readers would enjoy her tale. It took two attempts before I could get into the book enough to read it all the way through, largely because I felt from page one that it was trying far too hard and was essentially rewriting "Rebecca" (a fact not helped by how many times that novel was mentioned in the description and promotio...more
Nov 23, 2011 Elizabeth marked it as dnf-did-not-finish
Wow. It's been a while since I have DNF'd something so quickly, but wow. There may be folks who really like this book, but within the first few pages I knew I would not be able to read an entire book written by this author.

The author attempts to recreate a scene in Provence. She uses vivid adjectives and nouns, but it feels like she swallowed a thesarus. I can't remember the last time I've had to look up that many words in a single book, let alone the first chapter of the book. (sybarites, susu...more
It was a few pages BEFORE she mentioned the contemporary protagonist reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier that I said to myself--this seems a lot like...and then in the end, that's what it was..a modern Rebecca, less well told, less suspenseful and sauntering into a past that was more provocative but naively explored.
Set up--A modern woman follows her new love to the countryside of France, where he alternately becomes withdrawn, morose then tender and ardent. He is haunted by his former wife, R...more
This became my go to book for falling asleep. Seriously, every time I read it. From reviews, I should get past 100 pages, but 70 was enough for me, just too slow. Maybe I should take a break from reading, this is about my 3rd or 4th book in a row I have not wanted to finish. Or maybe I'm just getting good at quitting books I just have no interest in.
I didn't think this book deserved all the praise it seemed to get on review shows and being recommeneded as a summer read. It was far too obtuse - I didn't really like any of the characters or the storyline very much and plodded through but by and large was disappointed.
Took reading most of the book before I became interested. Almost gave it up but enjoyed the way the author described scenes. Not really much of a plot but the last 1/4 of book brought the different time frames together.
Slow, predictable and boring. The two stars are for the descriptions of France which I enjoyed.
I really don't know how many stars to give this book. I am a bit let down by the ending but at the same time the epilogue made me smile. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting with such a beautiful cover and wrapping that the ARC came in but I was expecting more plot and less description.
When everything started to wrap up and we discovered what really happened to Rachel I had an actual physical reaction to the story. I really did not enjoy the moral story behind what happened to her as this...more
I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

THE LANTERN was one of my most highly anticipated books this year. When I heard Lawrenson being compared to Kate Morton and Diane Setterfield, I couldn't wait to get my hands on her book. I should have remembered all those books I have read recently that claim to be "the next Stieg Larsson."

THE LANTERN claims to be a modern gothic tale set in Provence. Eve falls in love with Dom when she meets him by chance touring a garden in Switzerla...more
Our heroine meets a man by chance, falls in love and moves to the South of France with him without knowing very much about him. She wants to know about his former wife, who was she, what was she, what happened to her but he refuses to discuss her. Our heroine becomes obsessed with finding out about her and in the process conjures up all sorts of dark possibilities. In the end he tells all. This takes 400 pages and a beautiful cover. Meantime there is a parallel story that doesn't make sense for...more
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After a childhood of constant moves around the world - my family lived at various times in Kuwait, China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore - I read English at Trinity College, Cambridge. I trained as a journalist on a weekly South London newspaper, then worked on several national newspapers and magazines.

My first novel Hot Gossip (1994) was a satire based on my experiences working on Nigel Demps...more
More about Deborah Lawrenson...
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“It is what it is. Either walk on, or accept.” 9 likes
“I marveled at how they were all closed up, asleep with their secrets unseen until you reached up and took the book down from the shelf.” 9 likes
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