Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Book Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
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.
This book reminded me of lazy hot summers up north in Michigan. Lying on a sun warmed dock, the lake lapping against the wooden posts, feeling sweaty and lazy and relaxed. And happy. Definitely happy, with the sun on your skin and blinding you even with your eyes closed, a book laying next to you where you laid it when you got tired, wishing you had a drink nearby. The trees rustling behind you from the sporadic breezes, that wash over your skin making it possible to stay there just a little longer. I had to make reservations at a cabin near a lake after reading this book, true story.
Yes, this what Lost Lake made me think of.
The story is beautiful and whimsical and sad, a story of beginnings and endings and the stuff in between. Everyone is looking for something, and Lost Lake has the magic to make them dream and want and realize what they want is not always out of reach. The main characters are absolutely charming, and the villains devilishly villainous. But even they are not always how they appear. Kate Pheris finds herself at Lost Lake with her daughter Devin on a whim - an old postcard hidden away for two decades finds itself at last into the hands of its intended recipient. Eby Pim, the owner of Lost Lake, is carefree and easy and full of goodness, and is maybe one of my favorite characters in any Allen book. Don't we all wish we could be as comfortable with ourselves as she is? She can fix anything, and the town loves her. The lost and broken have found themselves at her door many times, needing her to help them out. Lisette especially. Lisette who was born without vocal cords yet has one of the loudest presences in the book, and Jack who is painfully shy but desperately in love with her.
And we can't forget Devin. Eight years old, inquisitive, who still believes in the magic of the world around her, who believes that she can see better out of her formerly lazy eye, than she can using both of her eyes. There is Selma who can make any man fall in love with her if she chooses, Buhladeen who knows that endings can change and who has one of the best background stories, and then there is Wes. Wes. Wes who carries around his old demons and hope, who will break your heart, who recognizes a good thing when he sees it and doesn't want to let it go.
There is magic around every corner in this book. It is a story of love and hope and the ghosts that haunt our daydreams. It was an amazing story, I fell thoroughly in love with its twists and turns and characters, and I hope that you do too.