The Map of True Places is another very good book by Brunonia Barry. Zee is a psychotherapist with a shattering past. The death of her patient Lilly, a bipolar housewife who jumped off a bridge, has brought back to Zee memories of her own mother’s suicide. Her father Finch was unfaithful to her bipolar mother with another man, and when Zee was 11, her mother committed suicide by swallowing strychnine. Zee came home in time to witness the fatal convulsions.
Zee goes to visit her father and finds that his Parkinson’s disease has turned to dementia and he has kicked his partner Melville out of the house. She decides to take a leave of absence from her practice to care for Finch. Trying to come to terms with the past and figure out what to do with Finch, she begins to doubt everything in her life. As she finds out the truth about many of the myths in her life, Zee also finds clues about what happened to Lilly in her final days.
This second book of Barry’s is also set in Salem, Massachusetts, and features some of the same characters as in The Lace Reader. I have really enjoyed both of Barry’s books. She creates a strong sense of place in the quirky Salem and populates her novels with complex, interesting characters.