This is the final week of our group read of The Lantern, and it was a really good experience. First off because I don’t think I would have read this one without the group prompting me to. And Secondly because I thought about it a lot more than I otherwise would have. Hats off to Carl for this, and for the RIP challenge in general of course.
On to the questions, but first! spoiler warning is in effect.
That’d be major spoilers, right from the first question so no moaning if you read on and find out something you didn’t want to know.
- Now that it’s all said and done; what did you think of the book? Did you see the ending coming?
I really enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would after opening the first page. As I mentioned earlier I thought the style of writing too overdone and flowery when I first began to read it, but after that first page I really felt it worked, both because of the type of book it was, and because the author was careful in its use. As for the ending… well I try not to think too hard about where a book is going to end up, I like to enjoy the journey. That being said I did think that it would turn out well for Eve. And I hoped for Dom too. I know, he was an arse and an eejit to keep everything hidden and secretive, but still. I hoped for the best.
My initial thought on Benedict was that she was a ghost when she mentioned the visitors, but then when she described being haunted I discounted that. Guess I shouldn’t’ve eh.
- What do you think of the characters? Lawrenson took us on a twisty little ride there, I had trouble deciding who was good and who wasn’t for a while there! What do you think of Dom? Of Sabine? Rachel?
Well as I just said in the previous answer :) Dom was an arse. And an eejit. In pretty equal amounts. Eve was also an eejit, although less of an arse. Sabine I didn’t really like. She had too much of her own agenda going on. And her mysterious hints and prompts only seemed to make the situation worse for Eve and her own speculations.
Rachel… Well if what Dom says is true she was a manipulative bitch. And I mean that in the scheming self-serving sense of bitch. Of course she probably had serious serious issues, and had she been a central character with her own POV, well, then maybe I’d be giving out that no one was able to help her. But the situation she put Dom in was terrible. Was it, or was it not euthanasia? Was it murder? I don’t know.
Pierre was the evil character that gave us someone to hate. Important, as someone already mentioned, was it Carl? because as a reader we were left so uncertain about so many of the characters and their motivation, so it was nice to have someone who had no shades of grey.
As for Benedicte, I just felt very sorry for her. It seemed that so much of her life was a disappointment to her. Her dreams almost realised only to be snatched away. But maybe some happiness at the very end. Not enough though.
- Pierre was such a conflicted character. In the end, do you think he killed Marthe and Annette, or did the fall to their deaths because of their blindness?
I don’t think he was conflicted. I think he murdered Marthe & Annette. Either in a drunken rage, or because he knew that he couldn’t control them like he could Benedicte. And I think some part of Benedicte knew that as well, and so she felt guilty, but couldn’t quite figure out why and so accepted that Marthe no longer wanted to talk to her. Easier to believe that I think that to believe someone you love is dead.
- The book is being compared to Rebecca and Daphne du Maurier’s writing. Do you think the book lives up to that description?
Well, it has been so very long since I’ve read Rebecca that I can’t really comment on this. I know it has echoes of Rebecca, intentional echoes that are even pointed out in the novel itself, and the story is somewhat familiar to Du Maurier’s tale of a new wife haunted by an old. But I’d have to reread Rebecca to make up my mind…
- Did you have any problems with the book? Narration? Plot? The back and forth between two different characters and times?
A little at first, with just figuring out who was who, and when. But not once I had the characters straight in my head.
- Do you think Lawrenson tied both stories together well in the end? Is there anything she could/should have done differently?
I think she did a great job. I could have wished for a happier ending for Benedicte maybe, but I don’t know. I liked the ending, but I didn’t love it.
- One problem I had with the novel is the reliability of the narrators. Do you think any of them were telling the truth? Which ones?
I liked that. Everyone was a suspect, and everyone had their own motives and reasons, doubts and speculations. As for the truth, I think maybe they all told their own version of the truth. And none of them told the objective truth. Is that avoiding the question a little?
Perhaps, but it is my truth. I think that Dom eventually told Eve what he remembered happening. But he wasn’t privvy to all of Rachel’s thoughts and feelings, all of her experiences, so of course he couldn’t tell the truth about her. But he did tell the truth about what he experienced from her. If that makes sense?
And Benedicte, she told the truth, sometimes even the bits she had hidden from herself. But some truths I don’t think she could face. The possibility that Marthe was dead was one I think she shied away from. Both because it would make her brother a murderer, which maybe she could have dealt with, she hated him I think. But the fact that Marthe was gone for good, and that maybe if she had stayed should could have done something to save her. I don’t think that Benedicte wanted to examine that, and so she let herself be hurt by believing that Marthe was alive but not talking to her.
Sabine, no. She told various truths at various times to prompt a response. Maybe in the end, once Marthe’s story was being investigated she began to tell the real truth, but up until then she was using bits and pieces that served her agenda.
Other responses to these questions : Stainless Steel Droppings ; Beauty is a sleeping cat ; Somewhere I have never travelled ; Piling on the books ; Books without any pictures ; Estella’s revenge ; We be reading ; What Kate’s reading