This was me when I first saw the cover of Brunonia Barry’s The Map of True Places. I thought, “This looks like a romance.” I must’ve picked it up and put it down half a dozen times before even reading a description of the book. Finally, I opened it up, read the flyleaf and didn’t put it down until I was finished.
There are those books you begin to read and consider calling in sick to work just to finish, (note to self: don’t let the boss read this), books that you start to read in the middle of the afternoon and the next time you check it’s 3 o’clock in the morning.
This is one of those books.
I’m a sucker for family stories, especially if they’re sordid and strange. I love novels where skeletons are crammed in every closet in the house or the families are just downright weird. The Map of True Places has all of these things. It’s a story about believing we know everything there is to know about our parents and finding out parents have inner lives of their own. It’s also a story about running away from the past only to find the past catches up with us.
There’s a mystery running throughout the book. Nothing too heavy, nothing that preys on your mind late into the night, but a compelling mystery nonetheless. I found myself thinking about this book for days afterward.
If you pick this book up, don’t be surprised if you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, turning the pages as fast as possible, eager to get to the end.