A modern day gothic novel, set in Provence, and full of complicated characters, treats for your senses, and a timeless mystery.
Deborah Lawrienson is the author of “The Lantern.” She lives in England, but she spends as much time as she can in a crumbling little part of Provence, France. So, Deborah knows of what she writes. She has certainly penned a perfect sense of place here. And her other senses have been used to the best of her abilities as well. When I say she has you smelling the scents of Provence, well, scent is actually a large part of the story.
With blurbs on the front and back covers of “The Lantern” from the likes of Paula McClain (The Paris Wife), Garth Stein(The Art Of Racing In The Rain), and Tatiana De Rosnay (Sarah’s Key), you get the feeling this one is unique and well written. Both so true.
Eve accompanies Dom to the rich countryside of Provence, in the south of France. She has only recently met and fallen for this older man of some wealth. They buy a falling down ancient abode full of more than old beams and crumbling walls. But they are so happy. Eve is the happiest she’s ever been. Ever. They enjoy the summer light, the lavender fields in bloom, and working to make this place their home.
Once summer turns into fall and then winter, not only do the shadows lengthen, but everything becomes dark and cold. And any underlying suspicions become obsessions and compulsions. The halcyon days have become days of the past.
Underlying the story is yet a second story. One with a history of murder and disappearances. All this tied to their new home. Is it haunted? Where does the beautiful lacy “lantern” appear from? And what about the murders being investigated in the area?
The story has been likened to Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca.” But it is most definitely modern day. I can not really say it is a true gothic novel. I don’t read real gothic. But this one has enough of all the other stuff I love, like mystery and suspense.
The writing is very good. This one is a delight for all the senses. And a great love story as well. What’s not to love!