The Lace Reader

By Brunonia Barry
(Flap Jacket Press, Paperback, 9780979159305, 353pp.)

Publication Date: September 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“The Lace Reader is a suspenseful intense read that thoughtfully mixes New England history and lore with the present. This is a one-sitting, must-discuss-afterward type of book!”
-- Angela Rodman, Third Street Books, McMinnville, OR

Look into the lace? When the eyes begin to fill with tears and the patience is long exhausted, there will appear a glimpse of something not quite seen... In this moment, an image will begin to form? in the space between what is real and what is only imagined. Can you read your future in a piece of lace? All of the Whitney women can. But the last time Towner read, it killed her sister and nearly robbed Towner of her own sanity. Vowing never to read lace again, her resolve is tested when faced with the mysterious, unsolvable disappearance of her beloved Great Aunt Eva, Salem's original Lace Reader. Told from opposing and often unreliable perspectives, the story engages the reader's own beliefs. Should we listen to Towner, who may be losing her mind for the second time? Or should we believe John Rafferty, a no nonsense New York detective, who ran away from the city to a simpler place only to find himself inextricably involved in a psychic tug of war with all three generations of Whitney women? Does either have the whole story? Or does the truth lie somewhere in the swirling pattern of the lace?

Conversation Starters from


  1. The author states that The Lace Reader is, at its core, about perception vs. reality. How does Rafferty's perception of Towner color his judgment of what she says and does? What about Rafferty's perception of Cal and his actions?

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