Brunonia Barry's first novel Lace Reader was a bit of a hit and I really enjoyed it. The Lace Reader was set in Salem and was all witchy and magical in an Alice Hoffman kind of way, so I was hoping The Map of True Places would be more of the same. Um. I guess I should say that if you want magic in your novels (Is it odd that I do?) there isn't really any in The Map of True Places.. but it's still set in Salem, and what it does have is lots about Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, live changing events, and a dash of suicide. I love novels that lead you into other subjects, while reading this it made me want to read Moby Dick (I've started it a few times but haven't got very far) and more Hawthorne (I recently read The Scarlet Letter after watching the film Easy A... so The House of the Seven Gables is next on my Hawthorne list).
Anyway, I was hooked from the start and read The Map of True Places in a few days, it's a really easy read even though it deals with some quite difficult themes. There were a few slightly crazy things at the end that were a bit soap opera-y but I enjoyed it a whole heap.