by Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: St. Martin
on January 21, 2014
Genres: magical realism, Women's fiction
Reading Challenges: ebook
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.
I adore Sarah Addison Allen and was excited to be given a copy of Lost Lake. Allen tells tales with a small-town feel and wraps them in magical realism. I found myself enchanted by her misfit characters and the magical secrets of Lost Lake. Mini review: A tale of second chances, hope and forgiveness. Allen held me spellbound as she led me to Lost Lake.
Kate’s husband died a year ago, and she has spent the last year in a fog, blindly agreeing to everything her controlling mother-in-law Cricket wants, especially in regard to Kate’s whimsical daughter Devin. Today she woke up and discovered she has agreed to move in with Cricket. As she and Devin look through the trunks in the attic one last time, they find an old postcard from Kate’s Aunt Eby. Kate’s Aunt owns Lost Lake, a lakeside resort of summer cabin rentals. Kate remembers the last summer she spent there and the magic she felt. Just reawakening, she decides to take Devin to Lost Lake before moving into the big house with Cricket. The tale that unfolds introduces us to colorful characters, as we share their secrets, love, and loss. Together we discover the magic of Lost Lake as Kate rediscover’s life.
Lost Lake provides an array of characters some we adore instantly and others slowly capture our hearts. Allen also gives us characters to loath like Uncle. I pictured him as Boss Hogg from Dukes of Hazzard. *grins* Kate has been through a lot, and I loved watching the lake heal her and help her find her center. Eby, Kate’s great-aunt is such a free spirit and Lisette with her quirky mannerisms and ghostly memories immediately captured my attention. Devin is a delightful from her free spirit to her tutus. Bulahdeen and Selma regular summer customers have come to spend one last summer. They were fascinating and helped create the small-town feel I love while adding a little mystery and suspense. Townsfolk like Wes a childhood friend from Kate’s past added to the tale keeping me enthralled.
Allen has a way of weaving memorable tales with strong characters. Lost Lake is character driven but Allen brings the magic of Lost Lake to us from the pitted gravel roads to the trees roots and their secrets. I could almost smell the musty cabins and see the fireflies dancing in the grass. The magical elements are subtle and yet powerful. I believed and they had me enthralled. Allen’s characters are all unique and like them, or love them; you connect. She shares their past and present with you slowly showing you their quirks, humor and souls. Eby’s decision to sell the resort creates a stir, brings back memories and forcing decisions. We witness a few romances some new and some old. I found myself caught up and searching for their HEA. The pacing is wonderfully done, from the flash-backs to the slow romance. The ending sees resolution to key threads and leaves some open with hope. I love this type of ending because it allows me to imagine my own.
Lost Lake is a wonderful character driven tale with characters that stick with you. Fans of small-town stories, second chances and a little magical realism will enjoy Sarah Addison Allen’s writings.
Four cups of coffee out of five
Here are two of my favorite quotes from Lost Lake
“You can’t change where you come from, but you can change where you go from here. Just like a book. If you don’t like the ending, you make up a new one.”
“When your cup is empty, you do not mourn what is gone. Because if you do, you will miss the opportunity to fill it again.”
Novels by Sarah Addison Allen