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Overview -

Brunonia Barry, the New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader, offers an emotionally compelling novel about finding your true place in the world.

Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats--a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble.  Read more...


 

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Overview

Brunonia Barry, the New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader, offers an emotionally compelling novel about finding your true place in the world.

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.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061624780
  • ISBN-10: 0061624780
  • Publish Date: May 2010


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Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 37.
  • Review Date: 2010-03-29
  • Reviewer: Staff

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)

 
BookPage Reviews

Another heartbreaker from Brunonia Barry

Brunonia Barry burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel, The Lace Reader, a story filled with magic, romance and an ensnaring web of family secrets. Initially self-published, The Lace Reader garnered so many rave reviews and such a loyal following that it was eventually picked up by HarperCollins and became a bestseller.

Now Barry is back with another enthralling novel that is sure to please previous fans as well as gain her new devotees. The Map of True Places tells the story of Zee Finch, a young therapist who is struggling to navigate the tumultuous waters of adulthood. Toil and turmoil are nothing new to Zee, whose life has never been set on a straight course; as a young girl, she watched her manic-depressive mother die before her very eyes, an event which forced Zee to grow up quicker than most and is a burden she still carries with her—one that grows heavier by the day. When one of her patients commits suicide, Zee retreats to her childhood home in Salem, Massachusetts, only to find that her father is gravely ill. As Zee juggles the demands of caring for her father and also meeting her own needs, old memories and guilt resurface, prompting her to slowly untangle the snarls of her past so that she may find peace in her future.

Gripping and emotionally taut, this is a novel brimming with both the messy and the lovely parts of life. A provocative examination of family, aging and finding your true place in the world, The Map of True Places is sure to smoothly sail Barry up the bestseller list once more.

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