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Shortlisted for the RNA Epic Romantic Novel Award 2012.
Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 26 Jun 2011.
A brooding contemporary gothic love story, beautifully told with rich and sensual imagery. Moving at a cracking pace it cleverly intertwines stories and events, both past and present, into a mystery that must be solved by Eve whose whirlwind romance with the charming Dom is not quite as it seems.
Deborah Lawrenson on why she wrote The Lantern…
‘When my husband and I bought an atmospheric, crumbling old house in Provence, we camped on stone floors and hoped for the best. I re-read Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, and wondered…what if I had come here knowing less about the man I was with?
The Lantern explores the timeless fears of the unknown. The uncertainty when the first stages of an idyllic romance are over and real life begins, in this case Eve and Dom settling down to a life together in their new home. It’s also a novel of the senses. As well as vivid visual descriptions of the landscape, I’ve tried to evoke smells, tastes and sounds until there is an inescapable feeling, through the characters of Eve and Benedicte, that there is also a sixth sense in play: an instinctive feeling of foreboding that cannot be explained rationally.
Several events in the novel are true. A ceiling did collapse. The mysterious perfume is real in that I smell it but never find a source. The light that flickers disconcertingly, the discovery of rooms we didn’t know were there, the making of the walnut wine, the man who composes music: none of these are invented either.
‘Les Genevriers’ (not the property’s real name) is described as we found it, abandoned yet magical. The Luberon area is renowned for its hilltop villages, lavender, abundant fruit and clear bright light. The idea of a blind perfumer came from the realisation that there were strips of Braille on the packaging used by beauty product brand L’Occitane en Provence, which is based at Manosque close to the lavender fields.
When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to purchase Les Genevriers, an abandoned house in a rural hamlet in the south of France. As the beautiful Provence summer turns to autumn, Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house, in particular the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful first wife, Rachel. Whilst Eve tries to untangle the secrets surrounding Rachel's last recorded days, Les Genevriers itself seems to come alive. As strange events begin to occur with frightening regularity, Eve's voice becomes intertwined with that of Benedicte Lincel, a girl who lived in the house decades before. As the tangled skeins of the house's history begin to unravel, the tension grows between Dom and Eve. In a page-turning race, Eve must fight to discover the fates of both Benedicte and Rachel, before Les Genevriers' dark history has a chance to repeat itself.
Publication date: 23/06/2011
Publisher: Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
|Publication date:||23rd June 2011|
|Publisher:||Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Romance,|
Deborah Lawrenson was our Guest Editor in August 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is the author of five previous novels, including The Art of Falling, chosen for the prestigious WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion, and Songs of Blue and Gold, inspired by the life of writer-traveller Lawrence Durrell. Deborah is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent. The ...More About Deborah Lawrenson