As soon as I read a review that compared The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier, I knew I would have to read The Lantern. I love the psychological thriller Rebecca and looked forward to A newer work with a similar style. The comparison between the two novels is definitely deserved and Lawrenson even pays tribute to Du Maurier by having the main character and narrator of her novel read Rebecca.
While the similarities between the two novels are obvious and numerous, I wanted to enjoy The Lantern for it's own story and tried to divorce my thoughts from the plot in Rebecca. Not only was it possible, Lawrenson succeeded in writing a story that was fresh, riveting and eerie.
The unnamed narrator and the older man she has recently fallen in love with, though she has only known him for a short time, move together to a charming but dilapidated hamlet in France. Not only does she begin to wonder about this man and his former wife, whom he will not talk about, she suspects that the home is haunted by ghosts. Alternately, a second narrator, Benedicte Lincel, the former owner of Les Genevriers, tells of her own haunting experiences.
I love a good ghost story and The Lantern delivers. Lawrenson is adept at building the suspense and moving along the plot at a steady though slower pace, also reminiscent of Rebecca. Lawrenson also paints a lovely picture of the landscape and describes the distinct smells.There are some books that you can very nearly taste. The Lantern is a book with it's own scent. Invoking the senses, the reader easily becomes immersed in the luscious language and the suspicious thoughts of the main character.
I enjoyed the experience of reading The Lantern so much that I was disappointed that it came to an end. It's the type of book that remains on my nightstand for weeks after I've finished it and I'm reluctant to place on the shelf.
I received a copy of The Lantern in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.