Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Note: I received a free copy of Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

I first stumbled across Sarah Addison Allen’s books on a random day when I was reshelving books in the library and the cover of Garden Spells caught my attention because it looked like a scent out of a fairy tale. I loved it and voraciously finished off all of the books of hers that the library had over the course of about six months afterwards. Then, when I saw there were no more books published yet, I kept checking the author’s websites and was first worried when I saw she was battling cancer and then happy when I saw that she was given a clean bill of health and had another book on the way.

Lost Lake is the story of the Lost Lake Cottages and how its history has changed and affected the lives of a very eccentric group of people. Eby the older woman who loved adventures and her husband and isn’t sure what to do with her life when a decade after her husband’s death everything around the lake is changing. Kate, Eby’s great niece, has recently lost a husband of her own and is relearning how to live life without him and to raise her eccentric daughter. Lisette is the mute French woman Eby saved after a disastrous date decades ago. Jack is the quiet man with a crush. Selma has charms to make men fall in love with her. Bulahdeen is the ever happy retired schoolteacher with a sad past and a want for happy endings.  Wes, the townie Kate spent time with when they were twelve and never really forgotten.

The story itself is an interesting combination of female relationships and the past combining with the present. It was easy enough to see that the past was going to be important to the story since the prologue started out in the past and then fast forwarded to the present. What I wasn’t expecting was that we’d see past glimpses of the lives of each and every main character but I’m glad that it did. It definitely emphasized one of the big points of the book, that the past can truly affect how one handles their future.

I did enjoy this story because of how Sarah weaves little supernatural/fantasy elements into your basic general fiction tale just like always. But it just wasn’t as thrilling to me as the rest of her stories possibly because of how many characters it focused on. (There was almost too many to be handled in just a few hundred pages and it seemed a little odd when we learned the past histories of what felt more like just minor characters). Otherwise it was still a really good story and it’s not going to stop me from reading anything else Sarah writes.

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