Title: Lost Lake
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 21, 2014
Number of Pages: 296
How I Got It: SheReads
From the author of New York Times bestseller Garden Spellscomes 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.
The draw of a lazy lake resort equipped with whimsical (albeit run-down) cabins has been on the decline and Eby Pim decides she is ready to sell, thus setting in motion a magical chain of events. Little girl Devin plays dress up and finds a postcard in her attic addressed to her mourning mother, Kate. This postcard sends the two on an adventure and saves them from a wickedly overbearing mother-in-law. Oh Cricket. Control freak Cricket. You had me hating you by page 20!
Returning to Lost Lake along with Kate and Devin are the elderly spitfires Buhladeen and Selma. These two women's relationship reminds me of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood ladies. Underneath all the bickering and pretended annoyances are two women with tough life stories who are both fiercely independent and interdependent.
The storyline jumps around a bit with Eby's honeymoon, present day, each character's past, and a bit in between. I had an initial problem keeping the lineage straight between Eby and Kate and how the disconnect happened, but the story does come to light. Eby's family, especially her sister Marilee, became another storyline that had me spitting nails. I've known too many Marilees and Crickets in my life, thankyouverymuch! These storylines had a Gilmore Girls feel to them. Entitlements, money, and control outweigh true family connections.
Town handyman / pizzeria owner, Wes, and Kate were best buddies during what they both called the best summer of their lives so many years ago. Wes's story is one of heartbreak and abuse, but the forgotten friendship between him and Kate resurfaces and with the help of her daughter, he finds closure and healing.
Add to all this goodness the aspect of magic realism. Alligators and ghosts made me fondly think of The River Witch. Love charms and familial bonds give a taste of Practical Magic and The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow.
I was very pleased with this book and glad it was chosen as the She Reads March selection. Read what some of my fellow She Reads bloggers have to say here
** I received this book in exchange for an honest review **