The art of lace making is so much more than a craft in the Salem area. There are women that can "read" lace, and see a story in the pattern of lace that a person chooses. Long associated with witchcraft, Salem is the setting for this new contemporary book (I know, it is a departure from my usual reading, in that it is not historical fiction, but it does have a small historical connection), from the debut author Brunonia Barry. Towner Whitney is the central figure of the story, and she returns to Salem when her elderly great-aunt goes missing. She hasn't been to her hometown for many years, including a stint in a mental institution in the intervening years. A young girl goes missing. She has been mixed up in a local religious cult, but how is it related to Towner and her life? The cult brings in themes of persecution, like the witches of historical Salem, and we also see the bond of sisters, between Towner and her sister Lyndley, and between their mother and aunt, and the effect of mental illness. We also see how things are not quite as they seem.....and the truth is delivered with a twist, which while it may not be suprising, is surely captivating.
Thanks to HarperCollins, and their FirstLook Program for the ARC of this book.