My main problem with Ms. Barry’s first offering, The Lace Reader, was the lack of life in the book. I loved the story, but it had no charisma. The Map of True Places shows some improvement in that regard. Was it a page turner? Not really, but I definitely felt something for the characters. And I did not see the truth about Melville coming. I had my suspicions about Adam, but Melville was a complete surprise.
I was unaware that bipolarity and manic depression were the same thing, and found the details of the condition disturbing. Ms. Barry’s description of the horrors of Parkinson’s and its similarities, in the later stages, to Alzheimer’s were vivid and disconcerting. All of it was very well done.
Out of curiosity, and slightly off topic: how could Moby Dick be anyone’s favorite book? I didn’t get past the third chapter. Talk about boring. Hawthorne I like, but Melville is a snooze-fest for me. It’s been a long time since I read The House of Seven Gables, I just might find myself reading it again soon.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars