Salem, Massachusetts is an unusual town. And the Whitneys are the most unusual family in Salem. Their family roots in Salem go back hundreds of years. They fit right in with the eccentric witches, most of the Whitney women have the ability to sense bits of people’s thoughts and see glimpses of the future when they look through a piece of lace.
Towner Whitney is in her early thirties and she has just returned to Salem from her self imposed exile in California because her beloved Great Aunt Eva has disappeared. Towner fled to the west coast fifteen years before, running from the violence and grief that was part of her life as a teenager when she lost her twin sister, Lyndley. She is a damaged soul and Salem is the last place she wants to be. Her memories of her life in Salem are sketchy and she struggles to put the pieces of her childhood together while dealing with people from the past that she is not prepared to see.
Eva was in her eighties but still swam in the ocean every day. When her body is found out in the water it’s hard to believe that she drowned on her own. The police suspect her estranged son-in-law, Cal. While married to Emma, Eva’s daughter, Cal beat her so badly that Emma was left blind and mentally impaired. Somehow he managed to escape any legal penalty and now he is an Evangelist with a very warped following. Towner’s return and Eva’s death rip open the past and send everyone concerned reeling.
This is a book about the damage that people do to each other and the incredible lengths that the human soul will go to in order to survive. At times haunting, heartbreaking, mystical and magical, it has an ending that will surprise you and show you the healing power of love.
The Lace Reader will be published by William Morrow on July 29, 2008