Review: The Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

lost lakeDate of Publication: 21st January 2014

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Purchase: Amazon

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.

 My review: 

Those who are familiar with Sarah Addison Allen can definitely expect the usual magical, whimsical feeling that is associated with this author. She’s a new gem of a find for me and I have loved every single book of hers that I’ve read and this one definitely does not disappoint.

Lost Lake started when Kate Pheris ‘woke up’ from the fog that she was in a year after her husband died from an accident and realizing that her mother-in-law had taken charge of every aspect of her life. Upon finding an old postcard from her great aunt, Eby, telling her of the summer she had spent down at the Lost Lake, she decided to escape with her daughter Devin for a short stay. However that short stay turned out to be for a bit longer as Kate and Devin got immersed into life at Lost Lake, among the regular summer visitors who are visiting the place for what could possibly be the last time since Eby had decided to sell the place.

I thought that the plot was very well-developed and easy to follow. Each of the characters have their own backstory and their own connection to Lost Lake that makes saying goodbye very hard, even though some of the characters refused to admit their affection towards the place, we can just see that through their actions. I love them all to the point that it’s very hard to choose which one that I love the most. However, I am especially partial to Eby, Kate and Wes’ story and thought that the author had done a wonderful job in telling their stories. Even though the romance in the story might seem a bit abrupt for some, but the way the author weaves a story from the past and tie it to the present make it believable and I can’t help but root for them.

The pacing of the story is just nice and enough to keep the readers interested and turning the pages. The writing is also beautiful and it has a certain flow and charm that feels very magical. The author writes in a way that you can feel the element of mystery that surrounds Lost Lake that makes it come alive and just wraps you around in its fog. I love the setting and how the author makes us feel as if we are there, engaging ourselves in the community of summer visitors, being in the midst of their dramas and camaraderie.

The well-developed characterization is another aspect that makes this book a win for me. It has a wide array of characters that comprise of summer visitors to the lake, wanting to indulge in the last summer they might have to spend at Lost Lake. Each of them have their own story to tell, so it makes for a very interesting story as we divulge into what makes them into who they are.

Overall, this is definitely not a book to be missed if you’re a fan of women’s fiction with magical realism thrown in. The author writes so beautifully that it’s easy to get captivated into the world of Lost Lake, where you can get a sense of home where you belong. It’s heartwarming and delightful to savour.

My rating: 

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