Title: The Map of True Places
Author: Brunonia Barry
Publisher: Harper Collins
About (From Harper Collins):
Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats—a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble. She's now a respected psychotherapist working with the world-famous Dr. Liz Mattei. She's also about to marry one of Boston's most eligible bachelors. But the suicide of Zee's patient Lilly Braedon throws Zee into emotional chaos and takes her back to places she though she'd left behind.
What starts as a brief visit home to Salem after Lilly's funeral becomes the beginning of a larger journey for Zee. Her father, Finch, long ago diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, has been hiding how sick he really is. His longtime companion, Melville, has moved out, and it now falls to Zee to help her father through this difficult time. Their relationship, marked by half-truths and the untimely death of her mother, is strained and awkward.
Overwhelmed by her new role, and uncertain about her future, Zee destroys the existing map of her life and begins a new journey, one that will take her not only into her future but into her past as well. Like the sailors of old Salem who navigated by looking at the stars, Zee has to learn to find her way through uncharted waters to the place she will ultimately call home.
The Map of True Places is the second novel that I've read by Brunonia Barry. The first was The Lace Reader, which I read last year and enjoyed (read my review of The Lace Reader, here). Both of Barry's novels are set in Salem Massachusetts, the hometown of Brunonia Barry and rich with culture and history that she weaves into her novels. The Map of True Places, is a moving story of Zee, a young psychotherapist who finds connection and self discovery through the death of one of her patients. Zee is in a place in her life where she seems to have it all, a wonderful career with a great mentor Dr. Mattei, a fiance and family that love her. Things change drastically in Zee's life after the death of her patient and Zee must also confront the declining health of her adored father Finch. Zee's life goes off course and she must find a way to get herself back on track and find answers to many questions from her past.
Recommend: Yes, Barry has a way with storytelling that immerses you as a reader right into the story. I found the characters to be interesting and well written and the background of Salem and navigational themes held together the story. If you've read The Lace Reader, you will find some of the characters mentioned along the way. I enjoyed The Lace Reader and was surprised to find that I enjoyed The Map of True Places even more. This would make a great book to discuss with a book club as there is so much to discuss with themes related to secrets, identity, love, family, suicide, and much more.
Source: Thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for sending me an advanced reader copy of this novel as well as an additional copy from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Check out these additional websites for more information about Brunonia Barry and The Map of True Places:
Book Club Reading Guide for The Map of True Places
Check out this video of Brunonia Barry talking about The Map of True Places and Salem:
Since I have two advanced reading copies of The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry, I would like to share them with readers of my blog. One copy was gently read and the other is brand new.
To Enter: All you have to do is leave a comment about my review and what interests you about this novel. Make sure to include your email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner. Otherwise, I won't be able to include your name in the drawing. Open to US only due to postage costs. Enter by December 29, 2010.