The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson – Book Review

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

In Deborah Lawrenson’s The Lantern, Eve is a young woman just striking out in her career when she meets Dom (a wealthy gentleman, considerably older) while vacationing in Switzerland. Even though she knows little about him, besides his once being married and that the relationship was difficult, they quickly establish a firm bond and retire to live at Les Genévriers, a gorgeous old estate in Provence. Due to Dom’s successes in business the couple wants for nothing,  and so settle into comfortable domesticity both shop for and participate in restoring the estate – and Eve retreats into literature, while Dom immerses himself in music. However, trouble is brewing in their idyllic lives. Dom becomes increasingly moody and unpredictable and Eve is haunted by strange sights, sounds and smells about the estate.  Dangerous accidents occur. When a neighbor raise suspicion about what happened to Dom’s former wife, Eve wonders if she has made a terrible mistake in retreating into a life with a man she barely knows.

Though slow to start, once The Lantern gets going it is a fabulous gothic read that lands firmly in the territory of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, but with its own rich mystery drawing on the history and life in the French countryside. Lawrenson’s luscious prose skillfully builds tension throughout the novel and her heroine, Eve, is the perfect mix of naiveté and young woman struggling to navigate a world that is just a bit too sophisticated for her to grasp. Dom is the perfect mix of broody and irresistible, and you don’t really know what to feel about him, or what exactly he is hiding throughout most of the novel. Rebecca fans will notice that the nosy neighbor makes a perfect Mrs. Danvers like stand-in. Lawrenson deftly creates old school gothic creepiness and charm, and melds it with modern twists in this timeless thriller. Delicious escapist fare. Highly Recommended.

Read More Reviews At: Literature and A Lens – Take Me AwayPicky Girl – Books and Movies – Fizzy Thoughts

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Review Copy.

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  1. When this first came out, I got all excited and got the audio from the library and downloaded it. Then a whole bunch of bad reviews were swirling around, claiming it to be a total rip-off from those other classics. So then I forgot about it. Now you have reminded me about it again, and I think maybe I’ll go for it. I’m totally bi-polar when it comes to my reads!

    1. I think a lot were rebelling against the Rebecca similarities. It might not work if you are a huge du Maurier fan or have read Rebecca very recently. I loved Rebecca, but still really loved this book. It had something different to offer.

  2. I’ve had this one on my WishList for a while and actually thought from some other reviews that I needed to read Rebecca first…but it sounds like it would be easier to appreciate this one if I didn’t read Rebecca first! What do you think?

  3. This is a very interesting book to read. That is why i’ve added your link to my list of books. Thanks for the review!

  4. I felt very much the same way. It was slow to start. In fact, I mentioned in my review that I was unsure early on if it was going to be a flop or a masterpiece. I did end up loving the book. Great review.

  5. I hadn’t come across this before and if I consider it a tribute to Rebecca rather than an imitation, I am sure I will enjoy it! Thanks for the review.