The Lantern (group read, week 1) by

Genre: ,
Setting: ,

When Carl first mentioned this group read I said I wouldn’t join in. I’m still on a no buying books kick so I knew I’d have to get it from the library. And we only got two copies and I thought it might be requested. But then it came in, and it wasn’t. So I nabbed it and am joining in. Late as usual.

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

For week one we read parts 1 & 2. And the questions are:

  1. This may seem like an obvious opening question, but what do you think of The Lantern thus far?
  2. The book appears to be following the experiences of two different women, alternating back and forth between their stories. Are you more fond of our main protagonist’s story or of Benedicte’s or are you enjoying them both equally?
  3. The Lantern is a book filled with descriptions of scents. How are you liking (or disliking) that aspect of the book? How do you feel about the lavish description of scents? How are the short chapters working for you?
  4. How would you describe the atmosphere of Parts 1 and 2 of The Lantern?
  5. Has anything surprised you to this point? Anything stand out?
  6. What are your feelings about Dom in these first two sections of the story?
  7. Bonus question: Did anyone else hear “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” ringing in their ears through the first sections of the book?

There may be spoilers in my answers.

  1. This may seem like an obvious opening question, but what do you think of The Lantern thus far?
    When I read the opening page of this I’ll admit, I wasn’t too hopeful. It seemed over the top and, well, melodramatic. But by the second page I was changing my opinion. Because the language may be a little ott but it is perfect for the atmosphere of the book, mysterious and evocative. It’s strange, but those aspects that were a negative on first encountering them have become a positive.
  2. The book appears to be following the experiences of two different women, alternating back and forth between their stories. Are you more fond of our main protagonist’s story or of Benedicte’s or are you enjoying them both equally?
    I am actually. Usually I end up enjoying one more than another, or hoping that one story will end so we can get back to the other one. But in this case I’m enjoying both. I think maybe I’d like a little more from Benedicte, just because what we get from her are snapshots more than chapters :)
  3. The Lantern is a book filled with descriptions of scents. How are you liking (or disliking) that aspect of the book? How do you feel about the lavish description of scents? How are the short chapters working for you?
    The short chapters are actually very handy for me, as I’m reading this on my lunch break at work and so it is great to always have a chapter break at hand that I can stop at when it is time to come back to work.
    The descriptions of the scent is fascinating. Like Benedicte, I find it so difficult to describe a scent in comparison to other things. So I’m really enjoying see how Lawrenson deals with them.
  4. How would you describe the atmosphere of Parts 1 and 2 of The Lantern?
    In one word, haunting. And in slightly more words, haunting, evocative, mysterious, and beginning to get a little creepy.
  5. Has anything surprised you to this point? Anything stand out?
    The thing that has surprised me is how much I am enjoying the book. But apart from that, I don’t really think so. Maybe because I have no expectations. I’m just enjoying the book.
  6. What are your feelings about Dom in these first two sections of the story?
    I don’t like him all that much to be honest. In a way he seems very stand-offish and the root of a lot of problems. Why can’t he come out and tell Eve the truth about his past. The whole “Lets not talk about the past” thing doesn’t really ever work in real life because the past created the present and will help create the future. And how you react to things is often based on past events. It is unfair to hide your past from someone you are supposed to love.
  7. Bonus question: Did anyone else hear “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again” ringing in their ears through the first sections of the book?
    Well being haunted by memories and the lack of details about a previous wife certainly does ring some bells here :)

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4 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    I went the opposite way. I started liking it and then I found it just too much. I enjoyed Bénédicte's story more because the writing is a bit more sober. I alos thought it got creepier and I liked the idea of a genre mix.

    I totally don't like Dom.
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Annie Ernaux: Une Femme – A Woman’s Story (1987)

    • Fence says:

      Poor old Dom, our view of him is totally coloured by Eve's mistrust isn't it?

      I'm enjoying Benedicte's story more as well I think. But I want to know the truth about Dom & Rachel too!

  2. Kailana says:

    I am glad you wound up joining in! I actually had this book from the library, but then it was decided as a group read and I doubted I would be able to get it back again in a timely manner, so I bought a copy for myself for my birthday… I am enjoying this book, too. I finished the next two sections yesterday and am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out!
    Kailana´s last blog post ..Friday Reads – 14th Edition