By: Sarah Addison Allen
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme
Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found.
A new Sarah Addison Allen novel! *insert flailing here* If you regularly read/drop by my blog, you’ll know that I’m quite a big fan of her books; The Girl Who Chased the Moon (review) is one of my favourite books <3 I was quite happy to learn last year that she had a new novel coming out, and doing well (I think only found out short after the announcement about book been diagnosed with breast cancer but is now well). Lost Lake was a wonderful, quiet and magical read. In some ways it’s much more mature than her previous works; most of the characters are older and all of them have experienced much: lost loves, lost people, growing up, growing old. Despite of all of this, it’s Eby’s getaway that brings all of these disparate characters together, a place that helps people find themselves and the things they thought they lost. There’s a magical nostalgia to Lost Lake and you can see the differnt ways in which the place affects these characters. The book really is about second chances and making a fresh start, which is often difficult after a tragedy or a great upheaval or a traumatic event from the past.
All of the characters in this novel were interesting, charming, each with their own baggage. Kate and her daughter Devin are the main characters who draw the reader into the story, but all of the characters more or less have equal “screen time”, so sometimes it doesn’t feel as though Kate is the main character. Death and loss predominantly affects these characters, the spectre of lost people hovering at the back of their minds. It’s haunting and sad at times but the way they interact and come together is happy and hopeful so the emotions balance out nicely. I just wish there were more scenes/time spent with the characters because I felt it was a little too short, lol.
Overall I really enjoyed Lost Lake, it was mysterious at times but also inviting. I was initially surprised because it felt as though the magical realism was toned down a lot in the novel but over the course of the novel it does surface in interesting ways. Fans of magical realism and Sarah Addison Allen’s novels will enjoy this title.