I couldn't help myself and finished the book already, but I have wanted to participate in this group read ever since Carl first announced RIP VI. I'm purposely being vague about the early pages because I most certainly do not want to give anything away for all of you.
1. This may seem like an obvious opening question, but what do you think of The Lantern thus far?
I liked The Lantern right off the bat. Like so many books I've read lately and for RIP VI so far, it unfolded very slowly. I always felt that Deborah Lawrenson had something very special in mind for me as I was reading. I loved learning about the estate and the countryside surrounding it.
2. The book appears to be following the experiences of two different women, alternating back and forth between their stories. Are you more fond of our main protagonist's story or of Benedicte's or are you enjoying them both equally?
For much of the book I enjoyed "Eve's" portion of the book more. I was captivated by her experiences for several reasons, but probably because I felt her whisk-away type of relationship with Dom had something in store from the beginning. On the flipside, I enjoyed Benedicte's story more as the book progressed. The sense of history and "old fashionedness" was appealing to me.
3. The Lantern is a book filled with descriptions of scents. How are you liking (or disliking) that aspect of the book? How do you feel about the lavish description of scents? How are the short chapters working for you?
LOVE the description of scents. I really loved her descriptions of everything. I really felt I got a handle on the area the book was set from reading her descriptions. I went into this book expecting more of a Gothic type novel in the Sarah Waters vein, but the setting really broke that expectation up for me a bit. The sunny, French countryside wasn't as ominous as I was expecting.
4. How would you describe the atmosphere of Parts 1 and 2 of The Lantern?
5. Has anything surprised you to this point? Anything stand out?
I was just looking back through the sections and was reminded of several particulars that struck me throughout these two sections. I was totally captivated by Benedicte's seeing the ghosts in her house. Who wouldn't like that? Pierre's spirit in the space became progressively more disturbing as we learn more background about him. I was appalled by his actions on several occasions (the kitten, the gun) and was truly rooting for him to go away!
Eve is maddeningly accepting of Dom's secrecy and moods throughout the first two sections. It wasn't maddening to an unbelievable degree, or I believe it would've affect my feelings about the book. I thought she was a believable young woman taking the plunge into her first serious, powerful relationship. She has a very real and unfortunate tendency to second-guess her instincts.
6. What are your feelings about Dom in these first two sections of the story?
Bonus question: Did anyone else hear "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" ringing in their ears through the first sections of the book?
Yeah, I have a confession. I haven't read Rebecca, but I want to read it all the more now!