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Extended Audio Sample The Lace Reader Audiobook, by Brunonia Barry Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (15,285 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brunonia Barry Narrator: Alyssa Bresnahan Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9780061702433
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In the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale, Brunonia Barry’s bewitching gothic novel, The Lace Reader, is a phenomenon. Called “[a] richly imagined saga of passion, suspense, and magic” by Time Magazine, it is a haunting and remarkable tale told by an unforgettable, if strangely unreliable narrator—a woman from an enigmatic Salem family who can foretell the future in patterns of lace. The Lace Reader was a runaway New York Times bestseller—hitting the top lists in major cities across the country, from Boston to Chicago to Los Angeles—and has immediately established debut author Brunonia Barry as a major force in contemporary American fiction. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “What is real in The Lace Reader? What is not? To her credit Ms. Barry makes this story blithe and creepy in equal measure…And there is much suspense invested in where all the lacunas in Towner’s impressions will lead her…There are clues planted everywhere.”

    New York Times

  • “Gripping…a marvelously bizarre cast of characters (living and dead) in a uniquely colorful town.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Barry excels at capturing the feel of smalltown life, and balances action with close looks at the characters’ inner worlds. Her pacing and use of different perspectives show tremendous skill and will keep readers captivated all the way through.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Barry’s modern-day story of Towner Whitney, who has the psychic gift to read the future in lace patterns, is complex but darker in subject matter…The novel’s gripping and shocking conclusion is a testament to Barry’s creativity.”

    USA Today

  • “[A] richly imagined saga of passion, suspense, and magic.”

    Time

  • “Suspenseful and literary catnip-for-book-clubs…while it’s surprisingly gritty for having “lace” in the title, we’re calling this now as the beach read of ’08.”

    New York Magazine

  • “Surprise endings are tough to pull off—too often they aren’t a surprise to anyone but the main character. To Barry’s credit, she genuinely got me.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “An ambitious debut. Unusual and otherworldly, this is a blizzard of a story which manages to pull together its historical, supernatural and psychiatric elements. A survivor’s tale of redemption.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Picked for the Indie Next List
  • An Audie Award Finalist
  • A People Pick of the Week
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 2/2/2014

    " I thought I was going to get a beach read in this but it turned out to be thought provoking. The line between mental illness and mysticism and violence were explored in a woman centered book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/31/2014

    " This book was beyond confusing and very dull. Very disappointing after all the good things I'd heard about it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Rose | 1/30/2014

    " Maybe I'm dumb but I didn't have this book all figured out. But there were many parts that as it played in the background at work i let skim over. Sometime the details weren't where I wanted them to be. But i will say one part of the ending was not a shock per say. Quite expected had i been paying more attention and the book wouldn't have been any good had she eluded to it anymore. But the other half of big shock at the end just didn't make any damned sense. May re read anyway just for that reason. I still have the sequel to get to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 P Bright | 1/30/2014

    " Spooky! This book will keep you guessing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue | 1/26/2014

    " I loved the premise of this book, modern day women near Salem/Boston area who are descendents of witches. Not scary, it was mystical story. They read lace to know the future. It was fiction, but was not as intriguing as I hoped it would be. I kept thinking something would happen, that would be the point of writing the book. There was sort of a mystery going on, but rather boring. I finished it, wishing I had read the one our book club was reading! (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/21/2014

    " While I enjoyed the premise, this book fell short of my expectations. Much of the narrative regarding several of the characters could have been left out entirely. I found myself skimming through until the last couple of chapters for the final outcome. Wonderful conception, it just got a little lost along the way (or I did anyway LOL). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly | 1/19/2014

    " Good but didnt 'grab me' "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Picinic | 1/19/2014

    " The concept was good but the last part lost me....Maybe because I finished after a weekend of camping..... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Historysmith | 12/14/2013

    " Umm, I thought it actually needed to be more about lace reading. But I did enjoy the psychological thriller aspect of it, which I don't usually care for. Possibly most notable for its window onto present-day Salem, MA. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda Arnsdorf | 11/30/2013

    " This book is written from the point of view of someone whose perceptions are not accurate. This book was not compelling and I resented finding out the that the character who is narrating the story is not entirely sane. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judy | 9/19/2013

    " Very good book and is both interesting and historical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Warner | 5/31/2013

    " A subtle love story, set in modern Salem, with links to the past. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristine Bagnara | 5/30/2013

    " If you like mental mysteries and are facinated by generational/inherited behaviors impacted by dysfunction, this story is compeling. Where better to set the scene than Salam? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Crotzer | 3/17/2013

    " Very much enjoyed the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 3/4/2013

    " Really super loved this book!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Rita | 9/12/2012

    " just remembered tonight that i read this a couple years ago - trying to put together an accurate list. this was a book club pick - enjoyed by all. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara Truog | 2/24/2012

    " Thought I was going to love this. I didn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 11/27/2011

    " I had to force my way through the first 300+ pages, but finally made it to a fairly satisfying ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 11/10/2011

    " Not your typical witchy story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 9/17/2011

    " I felt as though the author was only ever skimming across the surface of a rich story. I never really connected with the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 8/2/2011

    " I wanted to like this book, I really did. Lacemaking interests me, and you don't find a whole lot of fiction about it. The premise is interesting, if a bit narrowly targeted (you sort of need to like fiber arts and psychic phenomena). But the twist, well, it was just too obvious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 6/29/2011

    " I thought this book was a little slow paced, with the exception of the end. There wasn't much going on in the plot. A lot of pieces of information were reiterated throughout the story, so it seemed almost repetitive at some points. It wasn't a terrible book, but it wasn't great either. It was okay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tkal | 6/28/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book. Needed something a little different and this was a good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 6/24/2011

    " A subtle love story, set in modern Salem, with links to the past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 6/20/2011

    " I heartily recommend reading Lace Reader. There are technical issues throughout and some issues that distract, but it is a strong character driven piece and I found myself haunted by it long after I put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 6/14/2011

    " Well written, believable characters, interesting setting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 6/12/2011

    " Not my favorite. Nothing memorable about this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 6/12/2011

    " I checked this out at the library, not expecting to care for it much...WOW! It ended up being a great book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judypeel | 6/11/2011

    " Kind of confusing until the end and even then I think I need to go back and reread to figure out everything!
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsey | 6/8/2011

    " This book was beyond confusing and very dull. Very disappointing after all the good things I'd heard about it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 6/4/2011

    " A woman moves back to Salem, Mass. to live in the house her aunt passed away in and deals with the death of her twin and a group of religious radicals inhabiting the town. Kind of weird. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia | 6/3/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book and truly wished a friend was reading it at the same time because when I got to the end, nothing was as it seemed and there were many questions. My suggestion is to read it with someone or as part of a book club to really get different views on what took place. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 6/2/2011

    " This wasn't the very best I've ever read, but it surprised me at the end. That is a rare thing anymore and counts for a lot. "

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About the Author
Author Brunonia Barry

Brunonia Barry made her literary debut with the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling novel The Lace Reader, which received rave reviews from publications such as Time, People, Elle, the Washington Post, and the Dallas Morning News. She studied literature and creative writing at Green Mountain College in Vermont and at the University of New Hampshire.

About the Narrator

Alyssa Bresnahan is a dynamic dancer, actor, and audiobook narrator. She has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, has earned sixteen Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voices. In 2009 she was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best fiction narration. She has toured Europe in stage productions of several Greek dramas. In the United States, she appeared as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and as Nina in The Seagull. At the New York Stage and Film Festival, she had the starring role in The Clearing.