All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Lost Lake – Sarah Addison Allen

on January 27, 2014

Lost LakeLost Lake
Sarah Addison Allen
St Martin’s Press
2014, 296p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Kate was widowed a year ago but she’s just starting to come out of the fog that surrounded her after the event. She realises that she’s signed her life away somewhat, having agreed to move in with her mother-in-law. She knows that her mother-in-law, who plans to run for Congress will temper her daughter’s beautiful free spirit and she decides on a whim to take her daughter Devin away for a holiday before their lives change. The summer Kate was twelve she spent in Suley, Georgia at her great aunt’s holiday place known as Lost Lake Cottages was the best time of her life. She vows to give Devin a summer like the one she had.

Eby, Kate’s aunt has run the cabins for a long time but each year new developments have seen business slowly dwindle down to just a few regulars who return faithfully year after year. After the death of her husband George, Eby had things around her to keep her going – her faithful cook Lisette and the locals and the regulars. But she’s seen other women in her family who fold up and never recover from the loss of a spouse. When Kate arrives with Devin, Eby knows that Kate is like her. Kate will survive and be okay. She will find things that get her through. For Eby the magic of Lost Lake is gone. But for Kate and Devin…it still exists. And it could be just the thing they’ve been looking for.

I love Sarah Addison Allen’s books, which is actually a bit of a surprise to me because I’m quite a skeptic and she writes magical realism. There’s a touch of the whimsy in all her books but whereas normally this sort of thing would make me roll my eyes, Sarah Addison Allen manages to write with such warmth and charm that I am totally involved in her stories and everything about them makes me happy. I’ve read all of her books and I was lucky to discover her at a time where a new one was just about to be released. Since then it’s been three years until this one but the author was diagnosed with cancer. The acknowledgements in this book states that happily, she has celebrated a milestone with clear scans and I wish her many more of those celebrations!

Onto the story. The book actually begins with Eby on her honeymoon, setting up a bit of family history for the women that share her genes, which I thought was a nice touch. It gave the reader some background that they would need when Kate was introduced however at the same time, Eby was a really interesting character and I’d have been happy to stay with her longer. Her story does eventually get told in more depth throughout the book thankfully but it’s in fits and starts and I would’ve liked to know more about what happened to George, seeing as we were introduced to him so thoroughly in the beginning.

I really liked the bond that Kate and Devin shared and the fact that Kate realised just how her year of existing-but-not-living had affected Devin. The character of Devin is quirky but manages to be just quirky enough to be cute and not too quirky so as to become irritating. Devin is one of the characters that can see what other people cannot – in this case it’s a rather large alligator who has a task for her that helps someone in their grief and allows them to accept the circumstances and begin to move on with their lives.

There’s always a bit of romance in these books but it’s generally quite low key, always just meshing with the story and not overtaking it. This book took that to a new level – I’d have really liked more interaction between Kate and Wes, who met the summer Kate spent at the lake when she was 12 and then didn’t see each other for another 15 or so years until Kate comes back with Devin. There’s nothing wrong with the character of Wes and he has his reasons for being the way he is when he and Kate see each other again but I felt like there just wasn’t enough interaction between them to really portray the depth of feeling that they were both trying to proclaim at the end. Just a few more scenes or maybe if they’d met when they were older than twelve, it’d worked a little more for me.

But there’s no denying that these books do have a real magical quality to them and the ability to lose myself in them is something I adore having. I know that whenever I get a new one it’s going to be interesting, beautiful read and stretch my imagination to places I didn’t believe it could go. And it’s a wonderful thing having an author that you know will deliver each time.

7/10

Book #21 of 2014

 

 

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One response to “Review: Lost Lake – Sarah Addison Allen

  1. Great review of this book! I was so excited when I heard that this novel was coming out–I had no idea that the author was sick during that hiatus time. Will definitely be picking this book up at some point as I enjoyed her other books šŸ™‚

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