Skip to main content

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

It took me a while until I found another book to read.  I actually finished Lost Lake back in April and am only now getting around to the posting the review.  Then it took a while until I found another book.  Lately it seems like it's difficult to find a book that sticks.  I started one by Susanna Kearsley and got half way through it and then I abandoned it for the book I'm currently reading.  I knew this was not the first book by Sarah Addison Allen that I'd read, but apparently I didn't review any of them on the blog.  I just did a search and nothing came up and then I went back through the archive to read the titles for all the posts.  The Girl Who Chased The Moon and The Peach Keeper were the other two Allen novels I've read, and I do recommend them.  If they're here on the blog, I can't find them.  Allen's stories usually have a touch of fantastical magic about them, and this novel is no different.  And the mother-in-law's a real piece of work so I was glad when she disappeared for the most part from the story until she popped back in again just long enough for Kate to tell her what's what (not to spoil anything, but it had to happen).

Kate comes back again after a year of going through the motions in the wake of her young husband's sudden death.  She realizes that the decisions she's made in that year--essentially handing over the reins of control of both her life and her beloved, eccentric, daughter Devin's life to her domineering, controlling, and wealthy mother-in-law.  A woman who's remained mostly distant and estranged from Kate's husband and their family during Kate's marriage, Cricket, the mother-in-law (what kind of a name is that anyway for a woman of her generation?) is suffocating, overly concerned with appearances and a very influential power broker in Atlanta.  Cricket's sold her son's business and Kate's house at tidy profits, enrolled Devin in a private school that is a very ill fitted for the little girl, and taken over moving mother and daughter into her own large mansion.  But Kate has belatedly realized she has to stay present and take back control of her life and live it to make herself and her daughter happy.

At the behest of a newly discovered 15 year old postcard  from her beloved great-aunt Eby, Kate packs up herself and her daughter and makes an impromptu sojourn to Lost Lake.  Site of the last best summer of Kate's childhood, Lost Lake is the once thriving summer cabin retreat business Eby operates and having just decided to sell, this is also the last summer for Lost Lake.  Kate decides to stay on indefinitely during the summer to help her aunt inventory and pack up the many treasures scattered throughout the rundown resort.

While staying at Lost Lake, Kate reconnects with the boy with whom she spent that summer roaming the surrounding woods and swimming in the lake. Wes is a man who has made the adjacent town his home, both reluctant and unable to move on in the wake of the tragedy that claimed the life of his beloved brother so many years ago.  Also staying on at the lake for one final summer is a tiny assortment of equally eccentric, outcast characters who have spent myriad past summers at the lake with Eby, and have built long lasting and deep bonds of friendship with each other.

Many of the characters have been scarred by past tragedies and challenging circumstances that in various ways they've allowed to shape and circumscribe their lives.  This is a summer of reluctant change for them all as they prepare to say goodbye to the one place in which they have all felt at home, unconditionally accepted and at respite from a world that looks unfavorably upon their differences, and fails to understand their eccentricities.  Each one searches for a path forward into the future.  In these characters Kate and Devin will find a second family, but can they find a way to talk Eby out of selling out or is too late to salvage Lost Lake?

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…