Excerpt from a review by Ron Charles (Washington Post):
... a moderately entertaining story of three generations in a setting rich with Wiccan wisdom and deadly misogyny. One of the pleasures that runs through The Lace Reader is Barry's witty depiction of Salem. If you haven't been there, it's hard to imagine how completely the town's beauty is upstaged by the crassness of businesses that celebrate and profit from the murder of accused witches in the late 17th century. Barry has a kinder take on her hometown than I do, but she captures the way it remains suspended between past and present, tragedy and kitsch.
Excerpt from an interview on NPR:
Barry and Ward began by thinking local. The Lace Reader is set in Salem, Mass., and the picturesque seaside town plays a major role in the story. They went to independent bookstores and asked for the names of local book clubs that might be interested in reading a first-time author.
"The first two book clubs got just straight pages of the book ... in a box," Ward says. "We didn't have any real printed books yet."
Hilary Emerson Lay, manager of the Spirit of '76 bookstore in Marblehead, Mass., calls Barry and Ward's marketing efforts "revolutionary." She says Barry was genuinely interested in hearing how readers reacted to the book, and believes that the author's involvement with local book clubs helped generate a genuine interest in The Lace Reader.