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The Lantern
Deborah Lawrenson

Harper Collins
August 2011 / ISBN 978-0062049698
Mystery / Provence (France)

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

Eve falls in love with a charming older man in Switzerland. After their marriage, they depart to live in Provence, France, in an abandoned farm house. As time passes, Dom becomes withdrawn and doesn't seem to be able to recover from his previous marriage. Eve tries to figure out his sudden change and realizes that she barely knew the man she is married to. It seems a woman who has appeared in the village knows more about Dom and his past with his former wife than Eve knows. Eve tries to find the truth, and she finds links that lead to Benedielle Lincel, the house’s former owner and to the blind girl with the incredible sense of smell who becomes one of the most famous perfumers of her time.

The Lantern is a well written but somewhat slow moving story set in the beautifully described lavender fields of Provence, France. The atmosphere is haunting and at times disturbing. Lawrence has combined two stories of two women: one in the present, the other in the early 1900's. However, the constant back and forth of the characters and the times makes it confusing to keep them straight.

Reviewed 2011
© 2011