The Map of True Places

Brunonia Barry, Author . Morrow $25.99 (403p) ISBN 978-0-06-162478-0

Barry's considerable if overplotted latest delves into the long-lingering effects of a mother's suicide. Fifteen years ago, Maureen Finch, a discontented wife and bipolar mother to 13-year-old Zee, commits suicide while Zee watches. Flash forward to the present day, and Zee is a therapist with a new patient, Lilly Braedon, who is far too much like Maureen, and after Lilly kills herself, Zee walks away from her practice and travels back to Salem, Mass., to visit her father and his partner, Melville, only to find that her father's Parkinson's disease is advancing rapidly. With Melville missing, Zee becomes a full-time caregiver and must face the half-truths and twisted memories that have compromised her connection to her father, all the while examining how her mother's legacy extends into her life and a fledgling romance. This is a lovingly told story with many well-drawn characters, who sooner or later reconsider the courses charted by personal decisions and circumstance. But there is almost too much story here, and Barry (The Lace Reader ) compromises the third act with a weak subplot about Lilly's traumatic last days that reads as an intrusion on an otherwise well-told tale. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-7927-7255-2
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