Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Map of True Places-Brunonia Barry

The Map of True Places
Brunonia Barry
Morrow, May 4 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780061624780

When Zee Finch was a child in Salem, she watched her mother commit suicide. Zee became a juvenile delinquent stealing boats, which led to her nickname “Trouble”; her father lived in his own bubble not realizing how much trouble his daughter caused. Ten years after her last theft, Zee turned her life around becoming a psychotherapist working with the internationally renowned Dr. Liz Mattei and is engaged to a Boston Brahmin.

Zee’s perfect life implodes when her patient Lilly Braedon kills herself, which brings up buried memories of her mom committing suicide in front of her. With a need to leave Boston, she heads to Salem where she sees first hand how ill her father is; Zee avoided the truth that her dad also hid from her as to the severity of his Parkinson's disease. However, he needs her now as his companion Melville just left. As father and daughter struggle to finally move on together passed the pivotal moment that led to the omissions and strains between them; Zee throws away her life plan seeking The Map of True Places in her relationship with her dad.

Returning to the Salem of The Lace Reader with some characters from that book appearing in this one, Brunonia Barry provides her fans with a profound complex relationship drama as the past impacts the present and the future. Out of love and grief, Zee and her dad learned to conceal key things from one another which only further separated them when they needed each other for closure. Making the case that in family relationships that honesty is the best policy for the long run, Ms. Barry provides a thoughtful tale that will have readers reflecting on their lives.

Harriet Klausner

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