Read what people think about The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry, and write your own review.

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Map of True Places

by Brunonia Barry

The Map of True Places
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  May 2010
    416 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 4
There are currently 32 reader reviews for The Map of True Places
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Rosemary K. (Saginaw, MI) (05/27/10)

An Exquisite Map
Brunonia Barry's "The Map of True Places" is a wondrous, magical story combining folk legends, psychotherapy, and American literature. Setting her tale in the same locale as her "The Lace Maker" (and occasionally alluding to characters from that same book), Barry makes the reader long to experience life in that historic Atlantic area.

The primary characters are Zee (short for Hepzibah, as in "The House of the Seven Gables"), her ailing father and his friend (affectionately known as Melville), and a young woman who commits suicide. Zee's late mother Maureen had always dreamed of experiencing "The Great Love," but this never happened. Zee wonders if she is destined to fulfill her mother's dream.

I love Brunonia Barry's writing: I read slowly, savoring her words. Except for a few sections where the story seemed to drag, I believe "The Map of True Places" can give the reader an amazing experience.
Maryanne K. (Spanaway, WA) (05/19/10)

Map of True Places
I enjoyed this book. It's a fast, fairly light read with interesting characters. The literary connections, the setting of Salem, MA, and the details related to caring for an ailing parent add to the appeal of the book. I had no expectations (not having The Lace Reader) when starting this book, but was pleasantly surprised.
Linda Z. (Corydon, IN) (05/13/10)

The Map of True Places
When I first started reading this book, I had doubts that I would enjoy it. However, the more I read the more I liked it. There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns in the plot. I had no idea how things were going to progress. The appeal of this book would probably be more to women than men particularly those people facing the problem of caring for aging and sick parents. I can see some lively discussions for book clubs concerning the different characters. I loved the book and am now looking forward to reading The Lace Reader by this author.
Pam W. (Montpelier, VT) (05/12/10)

Secrets told and Untold
This is a complex tale of self-discovery that really resonated deeply with me. It's not the kind of story that wraps up neatly and then evaporates. It sticks with you and demands answers and self exploration.
Marlys D. (Grand Rapids, MI) (05/10/10)

Life Map
Another winner from Brunonia Barry! I love her quirky characters, including the "character" of Salem, MA. Zee's continuing struggle to find her true place in the world makes for compelling reading.
Sue S. (05/05/10)

Early in her novel, Brunonia Berry includes a quote from Herman Melville: " It is not down on any map. True places never are." I found this book with its setting by the sea to be about navigation: navigating the twists and turns of one's life. But the more I read about Zee Finch and her journey, I found myself getting impatient and hoping for a detour. For me, the book needed more focus.
Kandi D. (Beaverton, OR) (05/03/10)

The Map of True Places
I liked Barry’s first novel, The Lace Reader, so I was excited to read her latest. This one also takes place in and around the Salem area and even references some of the characters from the first novel. Barry does an excellent job creating an environment and making you feel like you want to plan a trip to Salem and take in the beautiful scenery and unique culture. They say you should write about what you know, and it’s obvious that Barry knows and truly loves her hometown. The story of Zee Finch and her strange and troubled family is interesting and definitely a story worth telling. But I think Barry misses the mark. Some of the events in the story seem far-fetched and forced. And some of the characters are too prescribed and unreal. But it’s definitely entertaining and keeps your interest to the final page.
Zonetta G. (Winter Springs, FL) (04/28/10)

The Map of True Places
Brunonia Barry's character development draws one immediately into the lives of the characters themselves. Her ability to navigate from present to past and back again seemss to flow neatly; fiction and fact and fantasy blend sometimes without the reader even realizing it. I loved all the allusions to Hawthorne and Melville and Old Salem. For all these reasons, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am recommending it to my book club for this coming year.


Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
  • Book Jacket: Mercury
    by Margot Livesey
    Margot Livesey explores the moneyed suburbs of Boston and creates a modern morality tale chronicling...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.