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The Lantern

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  3,407 ratings  ·  811 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
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Hardcover, 386 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Harper
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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern1Q84 by Haruki MurakamiThe Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWittThe Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison AllenThe American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Best Cover Art 2011 (Non-YA)
23rd out of 278 books — 1,547 voters
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane SetterfieldThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónRebecca by Daphne du MaurierThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Modern Gothic
120th out of 285 books — 767 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lora
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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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
Kelly
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
Stephanie
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
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Hannah
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
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Bonnie
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
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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
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Deborah
"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
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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
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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.
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.
Barb
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
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.
Sacha
"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
Elizabeth
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
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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
Carol
Jun 04, 2011 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Joss's Half Broken Things and Waters's, Little Stranger.
Recommended to Carol by: ARC Harper, imprint of Harper Collins
It came wrapped much like a present, in rich green , heavy paper; filigreed, deckle edged, fastened with a silver seal; this special treasure of a book, The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. My fingers carefully opened my gift from the publisher, Harper, imprint of Harper Collins and I read the first page. I was captured immediately by its lyrical language, its setting of a crumbling cottage in Provence, whispering hints of scent that tickled my nose and grew, and an intense, suspenseful story; part ...more
Melissa Prange
In comparison to the likes of the classics or even the more modern Thirteenth Tale or Kate Morton novels, the Latern is a less than entralling gothic novel. It centers around two stories. The first is of a modern day woman who has moved to France with the love of her life - who may or may not be a murderer. The second is the life story of a woman who feels guilt over the mysterious happenings centered around her family. The Lantern uses the standard cliques, including a mysteriously absent wife, ...more
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

I finished reading this book a few hours ago and I am still battling the chills it brought to life. Holy smokes, this one blew me away.

I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton, I loved Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and so it was inevitable that I’d pick up The Lantern, gothic romantic mystery? Yes please!

I have to say, I was intrigued enough for the first half of the book to keep reading. I, like Eve, needed to know the secrets. I was confused by the narrative but quickly got used
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Angelina Justice
I had a hard time entering the story. It didn't completely grab me in the beginning. I had to warm up to it. I had to put a little thought into it, because Lawrenson doesn't spell everything out for the reader. Instead, she dares the reader to apply a bit of introspection, which is the underlying theme that I took away from this book.

The dual plot line was intriguing, but it was the process that left an impression. Both girls/women are happy to live on the surface of things initially. They are c
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Lauren
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.
Beverly J.
Liked this book very very much. I could hardly put it down. There were countless passages that were so exquisitely written they took my breath away. Highly recommend this book.
Kristin
Upset I wasted time reading this book...
Anouska
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
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Kristine
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
Ricki Jill Treleaven
This week, I read The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. The story reminds me of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, but instead of a Cornish setting, The Lantern is set in Provence.

The Lantern is a feast for the senses. In her acknowledgements, Lawrenson said her idea for the story about a blind perfumer came from from the French cosmetic comapany L'Occitane en Provence. The company's products have strips of Braille on their packaging because in 1997, the company started a foundation, Provence Dans Tous l
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Carolyn Hill
While trolling the aisles of the bookstore with a birthday gift card singeing my pocketbook, I came across The Lantern just when I was about to give up finding a book to suit my mood. What was I in the mood for? Something mysterious, romantic, Gothic even, with a beautiful setting and a crumbling old house, preferably in Europe, but with no vampires. Ta da! - this was it; and it delivered on all those counts. Deborah Lawrenson writes beautifully, and I savored this book, rolling her words throug ...more
Colleen Turner
I won this book from the Goodreads First Reads program.

This book is a gothic suspense of the highest calibre, one that challenges the reader to decipher between what your mind and eyes want you to see and what is actually happening. The reader has to wonder what connections the mind is joining and what connections are occuring in reality, and it isn't always easy to guess right.

When Eve meets Dom in a garden labrynth by Lake Geneva she cannot believe her good fortune. She has been feeling bored
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Shannon
I won this book as a first reads give away and I was extremely excited when it arrived. After reading the first few chapters I had high hopes for the remainder of the book. Sadly, now that I'm finished with the book I feel a little let down.

This book is beautifully written and so descriptive you can’t help but feel transported to Provence. You can smell what the characters smell and see what they see; it’s utterly beautiful at times. However, you need more than beautiful writing to have a great
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Amy
Deborah Lawrenson’s first novel to be published in the US should come with a warning label: this book is highly addictive, be prepared to do nothing else but read until the last page is tuned. Granted it does take about fifty pages or so to get a feel for the style and to learn that there are two stories being told; one of a modern day couple, the other a story of the family that last inhabited the county house in Provence where the novel is set. Evocative of the classic Rebecca by Daphne du Mau ...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
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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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