Book Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Reviewer: Samantha

lost lakeI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

From the author of New York Times bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever…

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?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

Review:

As I started reading Lost Lake and getting deeper into the story, I grew excited for the possibilities the plot would take me. A love a little sprinkling of magic in my books, and this seemed to be right up my alley with “could it be real?” moments that Lost Lake provides those who visit. While I did end up highly enjoying this book, it didn’t leave me with the impression I thought it was going to. I think the book was too quick to really get into the magic of the lake and how it touches everyone who believes in its beauty. While I was a little disappointed in that, this really is a great story that I think can be described as spell-bounding. I liked getting different POVs from characters, and especially loved Devin and her innocence and her love for her mom. A well-written book that I think you should read!

4 stars

 

Book Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Reviewer: Allie

lost lakeI received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

In the aftermath of her husband’s death, Kate’s grief has caused her to sleepwalk through life.  While she grieves, Kate’s controlling mother-in-law, Cricket, helps care for her daughter, Devon.  When her grief begins to subside and she “wakes up,” Kate discovers that Cricket has taken over her life.  Cricket has sold Kate’s house and business and enrolled Devon in private school.  While packing up, in preparation to move into Cricket’s home, Kate discovers a long lost postcard from her Great Aunt Eby.  Kate and Devon impulsively decide to visit Eby at Lost Lake, GA, where Kate had experienced her “last best summer” when she was twelve.

Eby owns a quaint lakeside resort, frequented by an odd cast of characters each summer.   Motivated by financial issues and a desire to travel, Eby agrees to sell Lost Lake.  Once word of the pending sale spreads, the community rallies to show appreciation for all Eby has done.  Kate also gets reacquainted with Wes, whom she met when she was twelve.  Eby, Kate and Wes, like many other guests at Lost Lake, have broken hearts and harbor secrets from their pasts.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this.  The characters were all a bit odd, yet they’re likable and relatable.  Grief is a central theme of the book, but so is healing.  Allen’s writing is very effective in conveying that – “When your cup is empty, you do not mourn what is gone. Because if you do, you will miss the opportunity to fill it again.”

The writing is very descriptive, which is of course, a good thing.  I struggled a bit though, because the scenery she created was very realistic, but not necessarily appealing to me.  I wasn’t quite sure why everyone loved Lost Lake so much.  There’s a bit of mystery surrounding everyone, but I had no idea that one mystery in particular would be so pivotal.  The plot of the story is a slow boil, building to an unexpected climax – I can honestly say I was shocked by a “big surprise.”  There are some unusual paranormal elements in the story: a talking alligator, ghostly visions and magical charms, which give the story its unique magical allure – you’ll need to forsake reality to appreciate the symbolism of these elements.

4 stars

In My Mailbox: Week of January 20

done with menTitle: Done With Men

Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra

Received: Shuchi Singh Kalra

Synopsis: Travel journo, Kairavi Krishna (Kay) has had it with men. After a series of disasters (losers, philanderers, leeches, mama’s boys and possessive psychos), she is all too tempted to walk out on the prospect of ever finding love. Accompanied by her best friend and flat-mate Baani, she sets off for Goa, hoping to get away from her miserable love life and vowing to stay clear of the male species.
Goa however, has a host of surprises in store for her. Ricky, her pesky ex-boyfriend, is busy painting the town red with his hot new girlfriend. Now what is poor Kay to do, other than overdose on vodka, smoke pot, get an outrageous tattoo and fall off the hotel balcony? She wakes up in the hospital to the tender ministrations of Dr.Vivian D’Mello–young, suave and handsome as hell. Will Kay stick to her guns or will she fall for his ridiculously sexy charms? And what’s up with the mixed signals he’s giving out? https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20328900-done-with-men

lost lakeTitle: Lost Lake

Author: Sarah Addison Allen

Received: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: From the author of New York Times bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever…

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?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

fallen beautyTitle: Fallen Beauty

Author: Erika Robuck

Received: Penguin Group

Synopsis: “Without sin, can we know beauty? Can we fully appreciate the summer without the winter? No, I am glad to suffer so I can feel the fullness of our time in the light.”

Upstate New York, 1928. Laura Kelley and the man she loves sneak away from their judgmental town to attend a performance of the scandalous Ziegfeld Follies. But the dark consequences of their night of daring and delight reach far into the future.…

That same evening, Bohemian poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her indulgent husband hold a wild party in their remote mountain estate, hoping to inspire her muse. Millay declares her wish for a new lover who will take her to unparalleled heights of passion and poetry, but for the first time, the man who responds will not bend completely to her will.…

Two years later, Laura, an unwed seamstress struggling to support her daughter, and Millay, a woman fighting the passage of time, work together secretly to create costumes for Millay’s next grand tour. As their complex, often uneasy friendship develops amid growing local condemnation, each woman is forced to confront what it means to be a fallen woman…and to decide for herself what price she is willing to pay to live a full life.