Lacy Eye: when you willfully cover the truth with something prettier than it really is, despite evidence to the contrary, like putting a pretty piece of lace over your eyes - usually a form of denial.
Lacy Eye opens on Hanna three years after a savage attack in her bedroom leaves her disfigured, her husband dead and her daughter's boyfriend, Rud, in prison for the crime. Most of the rest of the family and neighbors believe her daughter, Dawn, was involved as well. Hanna is struggling to remember the events of that night so she can testify at Rud's appeal, all the while convinced that Dawn is innocent. The mystery surrounding the events is compelling and at times, even the reader doesn't really know if Dawn was involved or not. I definitely had my suspicions, but didn't know for sure until Hanna did.
Hanna's daughter, Dawn, has always been an awkward child because of an eye condition. She endured teasing from other kids and everyone refers to her as "Ding Dong Dawn." Her own family even acknowledge that she's odd and doesn't quite fit in. As an adult, Dawn is a strange woman and has sometimes bizarre reactions to people and situations - maybe because of her childhood, maybe not. That's one of the questions this book poses. How much of what we become is because of the things that happen to us as children, how much is because of the choices we make and how much is just because that's how we were born?
Throughout the book we're pretty much inside Hanna's head - what she thinks, what she remembers - and it makes for some slow reading. There's little dialogue. Instead, it's mostly inner monologue. On one hand, that allows the reader to really see Hanna's insecurities and regrets and understand her. It also kept the reader from understanding the truth until Hanna did. On the other hand, this makes the pace of the book incredibly slow and even boring in parts.
This was a pretty disturbing read about how denial can affect a person - a parent in particular. It's about how even through all the evidence, a parent only wants to believe the best about their child. Hanna was a hard character for me to like. I wanted to just shake her and make her realize what was right before her eyes. That just shows the extent of her denial and how it shadowed her.
Overall, this was a good read, but not great for me. I liked the mystery element and I liked finding out what really happened as Hanna remembered. I also liked the questions posed. However, I did not like the pacing and found this book incredibly slow and sometimes boring. I also found it hard to connect with the characters. I liked it but didn't love it.
Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.