"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

The Map of True Places
Author:  Brunonia Barry
Copyright:  2010
Publisher:  Harper Collins Publishers
Pages:  412
Includes:  Prologue and Book Club Reading Guide for The Map of True Places
ISBN 978-0-06-162481-0
Genre:  Fiction

Source:  A copy was provided by FSB Associates in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Available in bookstores.

(from the back cover) "A respected Boston psychologist, Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats.  But the actions of a patient throw Zee into emotional chaos and take her back to places she thought she'd left behind.

What starts as a brief visit home to Salem begins a larger journey.  Suddenly having to care for her ailing father after his longtime companion moves out, Zee must come to terms with a strained and awkward relationship that has always been marked by half-truths and haunted by the untimely death of her mother.  Overwhelmed by her new role, Zee must destroy the existing map of her life and chart a new course--one that will guide her not only into her future but into her past as well."

This is Brunonia Barry's second novel, her first being The Lace Reader.  In The Map of True Places, Brunonia Barry's writing encompasses a broad spectrum of individuals and themes including same gender relationships, suicide, abuse and reincarnation.  She does so in such a manner that softens the hard edges, bringing each individual out of the print and into reality. We get to know the characters and feel their anguish, their joy, their trials, and their doubts as if they were amongst us.  A gifted writer uses such a talent to bring the story beyond the pages, involving the reader, and Brunonia Barry is masterful at employing this skill.

At over 400 pages, this is a lengthy piece of fiction that will have book clubs in great discussion over many aspects of this novel.  A Map of True Places engages the reader throughout and when you are finished, you will yearn to talk about it with someone, to share a story that stretches your imagination, broadens your perspective, and makes you ponder situations beyond your own life.  It is magic.

Rated 4/5  (content advisory:  mature themes)

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