Thursday, March 27, 2014

SHE READS BOOK CLUB-MARCH: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Lost Lake
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Adult Contemporary/(Slight) Paranormal Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: January 21/2014
Acquired: Print copy provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a novel about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia called Lost Lake.

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.


It's absolutely horrific what covers have turned book lovers into these days, and *sigh* what it's turned ME into. I will admit this horrific thing: I expected a whole lot more from Lost Lake, because it's cover seemed so full of magical things. Though, I'm not completely daft, my entire drawer of expectations wasn't riding on cover lust/irrational notions-no, I had heard some great things about this author, and thus, was expecting a great book. What I found was an entertaining, and heart-warming enough story, but I wasn't blown away by what the author created in Lost Lake.

Kate is finally on the more accepting side of a traumatic ordeal: a year ago, her husband, Matt, was hit and killed while reading his bike. After her 8-year-old daughter, Devin, finds an old postcard from Kate's great-aunt Eby, tucked away in an antique chest, the pair are off to Lost Lake, Eby's cabin resort in Georgia, to hopefully find some perspective, and soul-healing. Though, more importantly, to leave some of their old life behind, including Kate's persistent mother-in-law, Cricket (Young & the Restless anyone?). Once at Lost Lake, Kate and Devin are immediately engulfed in an atmosphere of calm, and begin to interact with the other quirky visitors at the resort. Relationships are rekindled, new ones are formed, and there are even some odd paranormal occurrences abound.

Lost Lake wasn't a book that set out to drop huge twist bombs, and I wasn't exactly drawn to any of the characters, but there was definitely a serene feeling to it's tone, and was exactly the break I needed from some of the heavier content I've been reading as of late. It was a story of overcoming grief, and finding solitude in a past that you thought was long-forgotten. There were interesting personalities, and the paranormal/magic realism touches that kept me entranced with the narrative-though, I kind of wish the author explored those a little bit more. In fact, there was much to be desired in terms of world building, and character development. There were 1 or 2 characters that I would have loved to know more about, namely Lisette, and Eby's sister/Kate's grandmother Merilee-I wanted whole chapters from their perspective. Looking back, I wish I was able to connect with any single character, there was so much potential for great back stories.

The writing in Lost Lake was very matter-of-fact, and void of any of the lyrical prose that tends to accompany books with a similar synopsis. Which isn't a complaint, but more of a simple yearning. I would have loved to read words that better invoked the magical undertones of the story. 

Qualms aside though, Lost Lake was soul medicine-it was proof that love and kindness can conquer loss. If you're looking for a feel good book, I recommend this one.

Recommended for Fans of: Barbara Delinsky, Elin Hilderbrand, Kristen Hannah, Women's Fiction, Paranormal, Magic Realism, Contemporary.


CLICK HERE to read 7 things (PLUS MORE!) about Sarah on her bio page.

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Thank-you She Reads for allowing me to participate, and to Gallery Books for sending me a print copy to review this month!

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