Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Review: The Map of True Places, by Brunonia Barry

The Map of True Places
Brunonia Barry
William Morrow
$25.99, 416 pages
May 4, 2010

Highly Recommended!

Zee Finch never knew her real middle name, although as the book opens Zee has a penchant for stealing boats for fun, taking them for a joy ride and then returning them always to a different dock. So she accepted that the T in her name stood for Trouble.
Years later, Zee begins training with the famous psychiatrist. Dr. Mattei with stellar credentials; a published journal article, best seller, and avid public speaker. As her practice expands and Zee shows promise, Dr. Mattei is impressed and confident in Zees ability and therefore assigns patients of her own to counsel. One day concern mounts when her patient Lilly Braedon misses her scheduled appointment, later learning Lilly has committed suicide by jumping off a bridge.

She relives the suicide that ended her own mother Maureen’s life. Coupled with self-doubt and a lack of confidence this presents an overwhelming state of confusion. After deciding to take some time off from work, goes home to visit her father and Melville in Salem, Massachusetts. Finch and Melville, years a couple, together raised Zee after her mother died. Upon her arrival she discovers that her father has advanced Parkinson’s, and that the two have conspired to hide his current failing condition from Zee.

Her fiance Michael keeps pressuring her for decisions. Her mind is a fog lacking any ability to focus, especially on her wedding plans. Not surprisingly, the frustrated Michael leaves her. Their marital future is on hold, or quite possibly kaput. In her eyes, he just doesn’t understand the extent of her father’s illness, or her devotion to his care.

This is the story of how Zee must remap her life. The author intricately weaves a seafaring story of legend as the complicated course of Zee’s intended life leads her astray. The parallels are mysterious as the story rocks back and forth between the past and present. The drama unfolds in serial like fashion until the map of her future shows its destiny. Engaging storytelling, characters who breath as if they were family. Barry has written a beautiful transcendental tale worth high praise.

Disclosure: This ARC release was sent to me by the publisher.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Your review makes me anxious to begin this one. I liked her first book a lot. thanks for the great review.

serendipity_viv said...

Barry does like to give her main characters some health flaws.
I really enjoyed The Lace Reader last year, so I think I would enjoy this one too.

wisteria said...

Diane...Thanks, I just loved it!

Vivienne, I really can't wait to read Lace Reader. I have it in my TBR book pile.

Alice said...

I've read so many good reviews about this book. I'm glad you like this very much. It's in my wish list. :D