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The Lantern: A Novel

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Overview

When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genévriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the south of France. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive. But as verdant summer fades to golden autumn, the grand house's strange and troubling mysteries begin to unfold—and Eve now must uncover its every secret . . . before dark history can repeat ...

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The Lantern

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Overview

When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genévriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the south of France. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive. But as verdant summer fades to golden autumn, the grand house's strange and troubling mysteries begin to unfold—and Eve now must uncover its every secret . . . before dark history can repeat itself.

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Editorial Reviews

People (3 ½ stars)
The Lantern is a smart, gothic, bodice ripper that transcends the genre, thanks . . . to Lawrenson’s gift for bringing the senses to life.”
(3 1/2 stars) - People Magazine
"The Lantern is a smart, gothic, bodice ripper that transcends the genre, thanks . . . to Lawrenson’s gift for bringing the senses to life."
Tatiana de Rosnay
“I absolutely adored this beautifully written, modern Gothic novel, set in Provence, full of scents, colors and mystery. Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca, The Lantern will hook you in from the start and weave its dark, lush magic around you.”
Garth Stein
“With The Lantern, Deborah Lawrenson delivers a feast of sights, sounds and smells that grow and change and linger, like a wonderfully complex perfume. I was captivated by this marvelous, haunting book—at times vivid and lush, at times provocative and chilling.”
Danielle Trussoni
“A seductive mixture of a Gothic ghost story and a modern romance. . . . If the story doesn’t keep you up all night reading, the sharp and beautiful descriptions of the South of France will. Deborah Lawrenson has written an alluring, dark novel that will haunt you and leave you wanting more.”
Paula McLain
“Deborah Lawrenson is a master of mood and shadow as she spins this absorbing tale of intense passion and growing dread. Her Provence is sumptuous and forbidding and utterly real. Prepare to be riveted.”
The Oprah Magazine O
“A luscious mix of romance and gothic ghost story.”
People
The Lantern is a smart, gothic, bodice ripper that transcends the genre, thanks . . . to Lawrenson’s gift for bringing the senses to life.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Sensuous…. Lawrenson’s poetic prose vibrantly conjures up both the beauty of southern France and the ghosts, real or imagined, from different eras. B+”
Wall Street Journal
“Deborah Lawrenson’s new novel, a modern Gothic tale set in the lavender-scented landscape of Provence, serves up an escapist mix of mystery, romance and murder.”
People (3.5 stars)
The Lantern is a smart, gothic, bodice ripper that transcends the genre, thanks . . . to Lawrenson’s gift for bringing the senses to life.”
People (3 1/2 stars)
The Lantern is a smart, gothic, bodice ripper that transcends the genre, thanks . . . to Lawrenson’s gift for bringing the senses to life.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062192974
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 456,544
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Lawrenson studied English at Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is married with a daughter and lives in Kent, England. She and her family spend as much time as possible at a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, the setting for her novel The Lantern and inspiration for The Sea Garden.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 72 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    I agree

    I sgree with that anoynomus chick the people need to stop writing what exactly happens that it what an overview is for!

    9 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A haunting gothic thriller

    In Switzerland, Dom the English musician and Eve the translator meet in a maze; for both it is love at first sight. They move to Les Genévriers in Provence where they plan to renovate a country house constructed in 1887. The abode is loaded with seemingly valuable antiques and hidden rooms. However two things disturb Eve in the midst of her heavenly relationship with Dom. First calling this place Les Genévriers seems inane when there is only one juniper tree; the English translation of the French word. Second her beloved refuses to speak about his former wife Rachel who vanished.

    As Eve wants to know the truth about Rachel, they find sad audio recordings made by former resident Bénédicte Lincel over five decades ago. Bénédicte talks about her blind sister Marthe the perfume designer who apparently vanished and about their cruel brother Pierre. Eve wonders about two females living several decades apart simply vanishing.

    Rotating perspective between past and present, readers have a haunting gothic thriller using the beautiful French countryside and the creation of perfume as counterpoints to the growing fear of something bad about to occur. Although the cast in both eras are somewhat thin, readers will enjoy this suspenseful tale as Eve's suspicion that she may not next grows.

    Harriet Klausner

    8 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

    highly recommend

    this book was a page turner from beginning to end. It kept you guessing upto the last page. It was a mix of a ghost story, love story, and mystery all in one.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Has both classical writing style and a fascinating plot

    I read along for quite some time before I knew how I felt about The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. Normally I will only read so far before I decide whether or not I can finish it and give it a positive review and recommendation, but The Lantern had me confused. I was either holding a piece of literary work of genius, or a book that was not worth finishing.

    After getting the characters straight in my mind with all of the jumping back and forth, without any indication of what place in time I was reading about, things started to improve and I I found myself fully immersed into a fascinating novel of drama, mystery suspense and romance.

    Deborah Lawrenson writes in a classic style with vivid mastery. Although there were times that I could have done with less description, the writing was still beautiful and the plot was mesmerizing.

    I found The Lantern to be unique in the way that there is an air of mystery and suspense that surrounds the story, yet Lawrenson has written her book from the perspective of two characters (one past and one present) and their relationship with the people who surround them.

    I recommend this novel to readers who typically enjoy classical literature, both male and female, and to book discussion groups. There is a lot to talk about in this novel. Anything from literary work to relationship dynamics.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2011

    Geez people!

    The overview sounded awesome for this book. Then I started reading the customer reviews, which unfortunately GAVE AWAY EVERYTHING!

    6 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beautifully Written, Confusing Format

    This story was beautifully written about a part of France that I wish I had spent more time visiting. The couple that buys a very historical property in Provence learns through the history of the home how to let go of a bit of their personal history and secrets. It was hard for me to get started with the book, its format confused me a bit at first, but once I got the hang of the narrators changing, it was easier to follow and you get two stories in one book which is always nice. There was a certain creepiness factor, the objects that kept showing up, and reports of people that simply disappeared added some extra intrigue even though you understand where it is coming from early on. I thought the author did a great job of having the two women lead somewhat parallel lives, it brought an extra element to their stories, and it made me appreciate the difference in the times the women each lived through.

    Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2012

    A Ghost Story

    If you are going to read this book, I would suggest that either you read Rebecca or watch the movie or do both before you read The Lantern. AT first I had a hard time reading the book because of the back and forth between the main character and the "ghost". But once I got into it, I enjoyed the book. Definitely read Rebecca. The movie is a wonderful classic.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    The Lantern tells the story of two women, Eve and Benedicte who

    The Lantern tells the story of two women, Eve and Benedicte who are connected by their home, Les GenEvriers.  Eve's story is in the present and Benedicte's story takes place in the past during the productive glory days of Les GenEvriers.  Eve meets and is swept off her feet by the secretive Dom who she begins to distrust when he refuses to answer questions about his ex-wife, Rachel.  Benedicte's story is a little less straight forward as an old mystery is slowly unraveled.




    This story is beautifully written and I found myself continuously impressed by Ms. Lawrenson's descriptions.  She creates a story that introduces relationships that are complex and introduces situations where all is not what it seems.  Though I could recognize Ms. Lawrenson's talents, I really didn't enjoy the actual story.  The pace was entirely too slow for my tastes.  There were two big mystery's.  One mystery surrounds Benedicte's story and the other Eve's.  The reader did not become aware of the Benedicte's "mystery" until the book was almost over and then it was pretty easy to guess the answer.  I know that I should have really wanted to know the answer to Eve's "mystery" but I lost interest half-way through the book.  The build-up of the tension and suspense was just too slow.  Unfortunately, if I didn't have a personal rule requiring me to finish every book that I start, I wouldn't have finished this one.  Even with my rule, I almost gave up.




    Readers who like well-written stories with vivid descriptions and deep meanings really might enjoy this.  However, if you require a plot that moves steadily, this one might not be for you.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    A lovely book in every way

    I loved this book. The descriptive passages were stunning and added greatly to the ambience of the story, the time and the place. The plot was complex and suspenseful. All the characters were interesting. It's important to remember that most characters can only be seen from the viewpoint of the two narrators at each point in the story. Some have complained that Dom was not fully fleshed out, but that was the point. Eve was struggling to know who he was and he was struggling to hide who he was. This added to the suspense.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    Very Disappointing.

    I was extremely disappointed in this book. The book was overly descriptive and slowed down the storytelling so much that I started skimming pages for actual dialogue. I read the first 100 pages and then skimmed the rest. The beginning was so confusing, it took a while to realize that the book was actually jumping between two different characters in different points in time. Besides being at the beginning of a new chapter, there was no other indication which character it was following. Because of this confusion, I thought the second character was actually Eve remembering her childhood instead of it actually being the previous owner of the house. The book didn't seem to have a realistic ending. Would a relationship really survive if one parter thought the other was capable of murder? This isn't something that could be easily swept under the rug and a young fragile relationship wouldn't be able to survive it. The other story line about the missing/murdered women was ridiculously explained away. The truth about the ex wife, Rachel, was so ridiculous that Dom actually murdering her would have been a more believable story. The missing perfume maker? Halfway through that story line you already know what happened and have to painfully wait for the book to slowly describe what you already know happened.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    a fair read

    This is an okay read - not great - I was drawn to it because of the review that said it was reminiscent of REBECCA - not even close.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2011

    Not worth it

    I was ready for a spooky book or thriller and this was neither! Very predictable

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2013

    A Divine Read of Provence I was drawn to The Lantern by the ima

    A Divine Read of Provence
    I was drawn to The Lantern by the image of the lavender fields on the cover. When I read the synopsis and discovered it takes place in Provence I was extremely intrigued, as it is one of my greatest dreams to go there some day. (A little of my backstory: I worked and fell in love with a company that produced luxurious body products, from body creams & soaps, to skin care & perfumes, all containing ingredients from Provence – needless to say this was a main source that inspired me to visit the place these products originated from). I will not give any of the plot away, as I wish for every reader to experience the author's crisp and luscious descriptions of scents and scenery – one can't help but be taken away to the south of France, and all the beauty it has to offer. The mystery and twists will keep you reading non-stop, even for those who figure it out before reading the last page, as the author’s story-telling ability keeps you entranced until the very end.
    I was very pleased with this read, and was thrilled when I read in the acknowledgements that the company I worked for that originated in Provence - the one that has inspired me in many ways - also served as a source of inspiration for the author! I felt as though I had known it all along! I have worked in the beauty industry for over 5 years now, and am very familiar with scents, and how they can trigger certain emotions or tie into special memories. They can take you to so many different places, and for so many they hold such special meanings.
    I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read about Provence, perfumes, romance, mystery and ghost story. Once you read the Prologue you will not be able to put it down. You will be enraptured with fragrance and landscape.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Not for me!

    Did not enjoy going back and forth between chapters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    ???

    Hehahehahehahehahejahejahehjhehahehahehahehahehahehaheeeeehaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Im feelin pretty evil. :D

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2013

    Great romantic mystery!

    The Lantern is written in an interesting format in that alternating chapters switch from the present and past tenants telling about their lives in an ancient French hamlet. The author is very skillful in imagery which involves the senses and transports the reader into the house and the lavender fields. There are twists and unexpected occurrences which will keep the reader in a delicious state of suspense.

    The present occupants, a loving, unmarried couple and the former occupants, a farming family touch each others' lives when the present couple start to restore the deteriorating house and grounds. Many family secrets are revealed in various mysterious, and ghostly happenings which unravel past events, as well as, expose secrets between the present couple.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This was the most amazingly sensual novel I have ever read. Some

    This was the most amazingly sensual novel I have ever read. Sometimes purple prose has its place:

    It was one of those days so intensely alive and aromatic, you could hear as well as smell the fig tree in the courtyard. Wasps hummed in the leaves as the fruit ripened and split; globes of warm, dark purple were dropping, ripping open as they landed with sodden gasps.

    There are two concurrent storylines: that of Bénédicte Lincel and her sister Marthe, former owners of Les Genévriers, from the past, and the current owner, Dom and his girlfriend, dubbed Eve by him. Similar in tone, feeling, and even storyline to Daphne duMaurier's Rebecca, Eve is haunted by whispers about Dom's first wife, Rachel. Divorced? Dead? Murdered?

    More than this, is the rundown Provençal hamlet of Les Genévriers itself haunted? Or are the mysterious goings on simply part of what happens to any ancient set of buildings that have lacked love, attention and care for many years?

    The switches in narrator are sometimes hard to follow, to determine if we are listening to Bénédicte or Eve. Eve is rather aimless and directionless in the beginning, making her hard to connect with. Bénédicte's stories, especially those of working in the lavender fields, are sensually intoxicating. Her older sister Marthe becomes blind, and she is charged with "seeing" for her sister, who has become a parfumiere:

    "I want you to look really hard, just like we used to, look right into the heart of the flowers and the spiny leaves and the earth and describe it to me. Use all your senses to make the pictures come alive for me...."

    The sense of smell is expressed in this book more powerfully than I have read in any other novel, but sights, sounds, textures, temperatures, tastes are not neglected, either. This is not a book suited to zipping through fast, but one to savor. In the end, the mysteries are solved, and if a ghost or two lingers, it's probably a benevolent one.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Lush and melancholy

    Eve is swept off of her feet by the older Dom, and before she knows it she is following him to Les Genevriers, an old abandoned house in a small hamlet in the south of France. At first all is wonderful as they fix up the home, but soon the ghosts from the past creep in to come between them.

    Throughout this book, one word kept going through my mind: lush. Humid, dank, and dense through much of it, but lush throughout!

    The setting is very important to the storyline. This story is all about ghosts and the past, and you really need the antiquity of the buildings and landscape, and the old local legends and myths to create this haunting atmosphere.

    The atmosphere really ties into the story. I believe that the environment should be warm and arid, taking place in France, which I don’t believe is known for high humidity. And yet the feeling that I kept getting throughout this story was “lush” and humid, dripping and cloying. It was really a contrast to the true atmosphere of the setting. It set the relationship between Dom and Eve. When things were going well between them, the air would be light, warm, the plant life in bloom. Then the sky would get overcast, the plants dormant, rains falling. When the weather would turn and everything would be gray and miserable, the mood would likewise change between Dom and Eve.

    This is a story for the senses. It's the movement of shadow, the twist in the light, the way the breeze feels as it hits your skin. There's an oppressiveness in the air that bears down on you. But more than anything it is the sense of smell that drives the story. Vanilla, lavender, citrus and almond-- the sense of smell is important to this storyline, which hosts scenes from the youth of a blind woman who became a perfume-maker, and you are drawn in to how it was to be her and living through your sense of smell.

    I enjoyed this story. I felt that the "main" characters of Dom and Eve lacked some development and were actually secondary to the ghosts of Benedicte, Marthe, Pierre and the rest. It was the ghostly glimpses into the past that kept me intrigued. I loved how expressive the author could be, and her writing could really pull me in.

    My final word: Part love story, part ghost story, part mystery and suspense, this is a leisurely jaunt through the past. Some have expressed annoyance at how similar Lawrenson's writing is to that of Daphne du Maurier. Since I haven't yet read any of du Maurier's work, I can't really speak to that, and did not have any similar annoyances. I found Lawrenson's writing beautifully descriptive without being overly done, and it really drew me in to the sights, smells and sensations of the surrounding environment. The book left me a little melancholy, but all-in-all hopeful for the future of the characters, and I was left wanting to read more from author Deborah Lawrenson.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    recommended

    Rich, descriptive writing, suspense and mystery work together to create an enjoyable read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    I would recommend to some, but not all

    Didn't really grab me or come to life, but not bad

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