The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson is a gothic fiction novel that was inspired by Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca. This book has gothic aspects that I love in novels, secrets, suspense, mystery, tension, love, and a house that is/could potentially be haunted. There is always some secret hidden that you have to discover as you read along.
The point of view changes around a bit as you go, switching between two different characters, Eve and Benedicte. These characters live completely different lives in completely different times. How they are connected, you'll learn as you go. It is part of the heart of the mystery. This, in my opinion, is one of the best ways that authors can develop their characters and the story itself. You have different points of view and you, as a reader, get to see what happens to each character, but you see more sides of the story than just one, than just the one you are told if the story was in one voice only. By going back and forth amongst the characters you discover the secret and the mystery and unravel a love story as you go!
The setting of this story is a hamlet, a large, somewhat-falling apart, old house. The atmosphere is beautiful, if not sometimes a bit scary, although that plays the part of the gothic style. The story is full of vivid details and imagery that leave you with, not only a picture in your mind of what it looks like, but also with the ability to smell everything as well.
The overall story, in my opinion, was wonderful. The characters are strong and each tell their own tale. The beginning was a bit slow for me, only because of all the detailed images. But I do think the imagery plays its own role in the story development. Overall, a beautifully written novel, with a nice love story that can be unsettling at times, as most love stories tend to be, a haunting setting, strange happenings, and a nice little mystery all wrapped up into one book. I would definitely recommend this book to others.