Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Review & Giveaway: The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

Genre: Fiction

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.

My Thoughts:

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.


  1. I'm glad to see this is so good! No need to enter me.

  2. I read The Lace Reader & loved it so I really would be interested in reading her new sounds great!


  3. I love stories about Salem and since I have The Lace Reader, I'd love to add this to my collection!

  4. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  5. Well I have The Lace Reader on my shelf so I'd love to win this one.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  6. I just selected the Lace Reader from my TBR shelf to read. I am very glad to hear that it so easy to get wrapped in her book. I would dearly love to win this one.


  7. My mother-in law had Parkinson's disease before her death and she had a hard time with it. I took care of her for ten years. The book has to be a great read with a respected psychotherapist and a patient's suicide must be terrible.

  8. I've wanted to read both of these books Bonnie! I'm very interested in Salem most especially the hysteria surrounding the Witch Trials!

  9. my mother passed away before my father and that new relationship was very difficult to navigate

    your review was great

  10. This book sounds very interesting and I would love to win it. Also, it will introduce me to another new author since I do not have The Lace Reader, but it is sounding like I may have to get it.

    gcpeach17 at aol dot com

  11. Sounds like a story in which I could get lost. My mother had Alzheimer's, so this woman's journey might resonate with me.


    jhsmail at comcast dot net

  12. I love literature about psychotherapists, so please enter me.

    darrowenator (at) gmail (dot) com

  13. no need to enter me, babe. I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  14. This sounds like an interesting book! What interests me about it is how Barry uses a map as a metaphor to represent all that has been in Zee's life before. The title just makes it sound like an interesting book.

  15. I really like stories that explore family relationships.

  16. enjoyed your posting...would love to read this fabulous many wonderful reviews of it :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  17. I also read The Lace Reader and enjoyed it. This book sounds like it has many layers to it, and good character development. Please count me in.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  18. I haven’t read The Lace Reader but it doesn’t matter, as I think it will be interesting to read The Map of True Places anyway to find out if Zee finds answers to her questions.

  19. Wow! That's fantastic that you loved this one even more than The Lace Reader. I really enjoyed the first and had the pleasure to see Barry at a book signing in Dallas but haven't sought this one out yet. Sounds like I need to, though! (Though, no need to enter me right now). ;)

  20. This sounds like an interesting story to read.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  21. Your review was great; I love it when authors draw upon their hometowns or their roots in some way and are able to express that in their books. I am also fascinated by Zee and how a professional loss can affect one personally.

  22. sounds awesome! thanks so much!


  23. Sounds wonderful! aitmama {{at}} gmail {{tod}} com

  24. I love that it immerses the reader into the story - it sounds like a great read - thank you for the chance!
    june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

  25. It sounds like you really enjoyed it. I would love to read it.

  26. This sounds like a great book! I know what it's like when your "life goes off track" I think it will be interesting to see what she does to get her life back on track. Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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