Sunday, February 14, 2016

10. The Map of True Places - Brunonia Barry

(read the actual hard cover book!)
2010, William Morrow & Co.
402 pgs.
Adult CRF
Finished 2/13/16
Goodreads rating:  3.64
My rating: 4
Setting: Contemporary Salem, Mass.

First line/s:  "In the years when her middle name was Trouble, Zee had a habit of stealing boats.  Her father never suspected her of any wrong-doing.  He let her run free in those early days after her mother's death.  He was busy being a pirate reenactor, an odd leap for a man who'd been a literary scholar all his life."

My comments:  This book has been sitting on my shelf for a long time - purchased because I'd read The Lace Reader, the first book Barry'd written.  The intricate, weaving plotline goes from story to story of the major players - always rejoining the protagonist, Zee Finch.  The setting, Salem, Massachusetts; Boston; Marblehead - encompassing both the maritime history of Salem as well as the witchy history - were familiar and memory-inducing.  However, there was a darkness to this book that was quite depressing, with elements of great discomfort for me.  Zee is now caring for her dad, who is quickly succumbing to Parkinson's as it crosses over to Alzheimer's.  Now a psychologist, she deals with bipolar patients - and we quickly realize that her own mother's suicide was induced by her own bipolar disorder.  There are lots of secrets that keep coming to the surface, some perhaps a bit too coincidental, but they worked for me.  I think if I had realized there was so much depression and sadness in the book - especially  Parkinson's - I might have never read it.  I'm glad I did...but it's going to take me awhile to get over it!

Goodreads synopsis:  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 thought 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.

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