About this book: The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.
That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.
It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.
Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.
One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?
About the author: Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Peach Keeper and many others. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she was born and raised. Visit her online at sarahaddisonallen.com.
Genre: Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Southern Lit
Judge this book by its cover? If you find it enchanting, then yes.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: Mainly PG. A swear or two.
Reminds me of… The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards
You’ll want to buy this book if … you like Southern Lit. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen might also be especially eager to read this first offering following her battle with advanced-stage breast cancer. (In her acknowledgements, she reports that she is in her second year of remission.)
Why did I read this book? As a She Reads blogger; Lost Lake is their Book Club pick of the month.
Would I read another by this author? Surely.
My take: Though I’ve previously read and enjoyed several novels by Sarah Addison Allen, it took me a while to get into this one. It may have been a matter of timing. For me, the Southern summer setting would have made an ideal read for July or August rather than mid-winter (a feeling that was perhaps compounded by the fact that I read this over a hockey tournament weekend in eastern Washington where it was, yes, snowing). Early on, I wasn’t feeling the story’s urgency, and the conflict felt muted. But then I read this line: “[Jack] was craggy and athletic, with lines like parentheses around his mouth, as if everything he wanted to say was an afterthought.” And I was reminded of what I enjoy so much about this author and knew I couldn’t give up on this story, not when she is capable of writing such as that.
So now I’m here to tell you, I’m awfully glad I stuck with it. Soon after reading the above passage, I was completely hooked, craving a happy ending, so that on the long car ride home from the tourney, I was racing to finish the book before fading daylight forced my hand.
This is a story about finding what you thought was lost, and the wonder and magic of childhood. I enjoyed how each lovingly crafted character tells a piece of the story. And how each of them (with perhaps the sole exception of the child, Devin) has some growing up to do.
In the end, it’s a lovely, wistful tale with just the right kind of magic tossed in to give it sparkle and leave the reader with hope.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
Be sure to stop by She Reads through the end of this week for your chance to win a copy of Lost Lake (where you can also see what other bloggers are saying). You may also be interested in Waking Kate, a short-story prequel to this novel available as a free e-book from Amazon.