From the author of the New York Times bestseller Garden Spells comes 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 lifetime 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 it’s not enough to keep Eby from calling this her final summer at the lake, and relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand. 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.
©2014 Sarah Addison Allen (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
"Metzger's Southern accents and variety of boisterous and genteel voices capture the eclectic personalities of townsfolk, while her alluring voice and smooth reading convey the tranquility of the lake community.... Listeners will be charmed." (AudioFile)
Goodreads reviewer and blogger... also dentist and wife/mom when I get the time!
For me, Sarah Addison Allen books are like a cozy blanket or hot chocolate: They are my comfort food version of reading, and I can't get enough of them. There is just something so warm and inviting about her style. I'm not sure if it is the Southern charm or the magical realism, but I'm always in sort of a happy daze while reading this author's stuff. However, while "Lost Lake" was predictably good and nicely narrated, it just didn't have the WOW factor of some of her other stories.
I'll talk a little about the narration first. I enjoyed the narrator, Janet Metzger, who expertly did a nice range of voices and throaty, Southern accents. I wasn't crazy about her male voices, but it is difficult for a female narrator to nail those, and she made a valiant effort. I enjoyed her soothing way of speaking and thought it worked nicely with the story.
In terms of the plot, I'd say that if you've read one Sarah Addison Allen book, you've read them all. That isn't to say you shouldn't try this lovely tale, but just know that you aren't going to get anything truly different. We all know the drill: Strong matriarchs, family lines with abilities, lost loves and returning loves, Southern culture, the charms of childhood... all the stories have the same themes. However, though it isn't anything new, it was still really nicely conceived and executed. I wasn't excited by the story, but it was pleasant listening. I knew how everything would end, more or less, and I enjoyed the ride all the way through.
I think if you are a fan of this author, you will like this story. It wasn't as powerful for me as her other books, but it charmed me nonetheless.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
I am not usually a fan of "sweet" fiction. And while I will read some fantasy, I don't really care for unexplained magic. But every time I pick up a book by Sarah Addison Allen, I know, without understanding why, that I will like it. Typically, a lot. I can't explain why I don't find her books saccharine-y annoying and why I tolerate random acts of magic with no explanation. I just do. She writes genuinely, with obvious care and respect for her characters. And she gives them just enough historical sorrow and difficulty so they are human. I tolerate their uber-sweetness and goodness because there is something terrible in their background they didn't deserve.
I loved the characters in this book. Especially Eby and Devon. And I loved the way the plot meandered to the expected but still very satisfying end. There is something magical about this author's writing. And that is probably why I tolerate the magic in her books.
Sarah is one of those writers that takes you to another world with her words. You hate for her books to end. Can't wait to read her next book.
I am a frequent Addison Allen reader. This was a good fix but didn't grab me and suck me into the read like some of her other books have. I was still entertained.
Ms. Lou Hoo
My sister-in-law and I traded audio books and this was the one she picked out for me. It's not something I would normally pick out for myself because I would consider it a "chick-flick" type of book, I guess. But I was pleasantly surprised by the story. The flashbacks, and how they tied together everything in the present, were my favorite parts of the story. It was heartwarming, tragic but not TOO tragic, and it had a bit of magic sprinkled in. It was a nice little reprieve from the thrillers and fantasy novels I usually listen to. The narrator was also very enjoyable. I will be putting the author and the narrator on my list of future listens.
The story was interesttng. The narration terrible. I had to quit listening due to bad performance.
Could not finish the book due to narration
Interested in books that help one's spirit move beyond the ordinary.
I liked the characterization of Eby and Kate. I also enjoyed the plot point of Devin and the alligator. These three captured the magical element that has been a key component of the author’s earlier books. However, as others have said, this one does not live up to her other works.
The good feeling that is generated in the stories of Eby, Kate and Devin are wiped out by the portrayals and actions of the other characters. Lizette is whiny and ungrateful. Selma is very grating. As another reviewer said, the way Selma “saves the day” through her interaction with Lazlo, the story’s “villain”, is very unappealing.
In addition to the uneven characterizations, the story line development is jumbled. Bulah Deene’s background story comes very late in the novel and disrupts the flow of a book heading toward conclusion. A better job of editing would have moved it to an earlier chapter.
A last minute reveal of the secret Wes has carried for years is unexpected and unpleasantly jarring. It ruined the portrayal of his character for me. This secret was completely unnecessary to the story arc so I am left wondering why the author included it. It comes on the heels of Bulah Deene’s background piece. The childhood of both characters seem to be meant to outline the harsh social and economic reality of the rural South. If that was the reason why the author developed the plot point about his secret, then I wish she would have found a better vehicle with which to demonstrate it. Indeed, this whole theme also detracted from my enjoyment of the book. This is not to say that I don’t understand such environments exist in the world. However, I don’t appreciate having them play such a major role in a novel of this genre.
Other reviewers have mentioned that this was the first novel the author wrote after fighting cancer. I can therefore understand how this story strayed so far from her other works. However, it is unfortunate that the publisher did not recognize that this work would not reflect well on the author. It should have either been edited more or had its publication delayed until the author could rework it herself.
Sarah Addison Allen has become one of my go-to authors when I want to read or listen to something that is going to make me feel good. Her books never stress me out or make me mad at the characters or the world.
I've heard her books described as "magical realism", and I'm surprised how much I enjoy that, given how much of a skeptic and pessimist I am in real life. But if you are willing to sit back and just enjoy the story, you'll come away feeling happier for it.
Report Inappropriate Content