Our heroine begins her story with enigmatic words: “My name is Towner Whitney. No, that’s not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time.” She returns to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts when her Great-Aunt Eva is reported missing. The Whitney women are known for the unusual ability to see past, present, and future by reading lace, though Towner has resolved never to exercise this gift again. Since her treatment in a mental institution after confessing to a crime that didn’t happen, she has stayed away from the complicated and troubling memories that haunt her. What she discovers in The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry is that sometimes it is the interpretation, not what is seen, that is wrong.