Book Review: The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

Fantasy and folk tales mix with harsh reality in this fantastic book by Brunonia Barry!

The Map of True Places is the second in Barry’s Salem series. I read The Lace Reader quite some years ago, and though I don’t remember enough of it to give you a detailed review or a summary, I absolutely remember that it was great. The Map of True Places is no different!

From the Cover: Zee Finch has come a long way from a motherless childhood spent stealing boats—a talent that earned her the nickname Trouble. She’s now a respected psychotherapist working with the world-famous Dr. Liz Mattei. She’s also about to marry one of Boston’s most eligible bachelors. But the suicide of Zee’s patient Lilly Braedon throws Zee into emotional chaos and takes her back to places she thought she’d left behind.

What starts as a brief visit home to Salem after Lilly’s funeral becomes the beginning of a larger journey for Zee. Her father, Finch, long ago diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, has been hiding how sick he really is. His longtime companion, Melville, has moved out, and it now falls to Zee to help her father through this difficult time. Their relationship, marked by half-truths and the untimely death of her mother, is strained and awkward.

Overwhelmed by her new role, and uncertain about her future, Zee destroys the existing map of her life and begins a new journey, one that will take her not only into her future but into her past as well. Like the sailors of old Salem who navigated by looking at the stars, Zee has to learn to find her way through uncharted waters to the place she will ultimately call home.

There is a certain amount of rawness to this story as Zee tries to figure out where her life is headed, the sort of tone that pulls you thoroughly into the story and makes you believe that you just might be living Zee’s life. Mixed in with the folklore of old Salem and a bit of magic, it creates a gripping tale that was impossible to put down.

I’ll definitely be adding the next book in the Salem series, The Fifth Petal, to my TBR list! Speaking of, feel free to check out my list of Books I’ve Read in 2023!

What have you been reading lately? I’d love to know!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Book Review: The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry

  1. Pingback: Books I Read in 2023! | Ashley O'Melia, Author

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