Now 2023 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Black Authors Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts

Month in review

Anonymity by John Mullan
Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
A Barnstormer in Oz by Philip José Farmer
Bastard Tongues by Derek Bickerton
The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald
Foiled by Jane Yolen
Fort Clay, Louisiana: A Tragical History by Albert E. Cowdrey
The Frog Comrade by Benjamin Rosenbaum
Fundaments of Geographic Information Systems by Michael DeMers
Gallop by Rufus Butler Seder
Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr.
Indigo Blue by Cathy Cassidy
Information Seeking
in Electronic Environments
by Gary Marchionini
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Looking for Lost Bird by Yvette Melanson
Lucifer Rising by Barbara Fifield
Northward to the Moon by Polly Horvath
On the Bluffs by Steven Schindler
The Osiris Alliance by Jack Ford
Otto's Orange Day by Jay Lynch
Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel by James Proimos
Peekaboo Baby by Rachel Isadora
Pinkalicious: Tickled Pink by Victoria Kann
The Portable MLIS edited by Ken Haycock and Brooke Sheldon
Remotest Mansions of the Blood by Alex Irvine
A Short History of Rudeness by Mark Caldwell
Silence by Dale Bailey
Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
Textual Poachers by Henry Jenkins
Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers
A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Previous Month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Beat the Backlist 2023

Canadian Book Challenge: 2022-2023

Chicken Art

Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.

The Lace Reader: 01/19/11

cover art

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry for a book club. It is not a book I would have chosen for myself. Please keep that in mind while reading this post.

From the very first page I knew I would have to struggle to finish the book. The opening line: "My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time." Right there, with an opening that sounds like a rehash of the Knight and Knave logic puzzle, I was losing interest.

Those lines were warning alarms for me. Knowing immediately that there was going to be a whole bunch of mental anguish amongst a modern day setting only to be ended with the floor dropping out when the riddle is finally answered, I skipped to the end and read the trick ending first.

Having gotten the "surprise" out of the way I went back to reading the rest of the book. I struggled with the first thirty or so pages while Towner sets up the foundation of her elaborate riddle. I suppose I should have cared about her mental breakdown and her shock therapy and her gaps in memory. But I didn't. It all felt like a literary gimmick to me, window dressing to hide the trick ending. The problem is she showed her hand at the very beginning.

As I said, it wasn't a book I would have chosen for myself. I stuck with it to the end but I did it with lot of skimming. Every time Towner gets into one of her moods, I started skimming. If you like unreliable narrators, then you'll love this book. If you don't, pass on this book.

Other posts and reviews:

Comments (2)

Lab puppy
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:

Comment #1: Thursday, January, 20, 2011 at 20:14:17

Beth (bookaholicmom)

You did much better than I did with this book. I read maybe almost half of it and just gave up. I didn't really care what happened. So glad that I was not the only who who didn't care for it.

Comment #2: Monday, January 24, 2011 at 16:39:01


I would have stopped at 50 pages if it weren't for it being a book club book. Readers seem to either love or hate the book.

Twitter Tumblr Mastadon Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2023 Sarah Sammis