Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies! So sorry that this post is so late, but this flu has totally knocked me on my butt! I also want to apologize to last week's participants. I promise I will visit your blogs and read your posts from last week later today.
This week I read The Lake House by Kate Morton. She is one of my very favorite writers, and I can't wait to discuss this book next week at Our Book Club meeting! :)
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
I received this book for Christmas, and it is definitely a keeper along with Morton's other books. What I love most about the book is the setting: the Loeanneth Estate in Cornwall. Loeanneth means "lake house" in Cornish, and I can't think of a more lovely setting than a lake house close to the sea in sunny Cornwall. The house itself becomes a character in the saga of the Edevane family: neglected, abandoned, but never forgotten. The atmosphere of Loeanneth is magical: One wouldn't be surprised to find Cornish pixies and other fairies in the gardens surrounding the lake.
Point of view is so important to the story that the reader gains insight that the other characters never know. These characters are all hiding secrets, and in order to unravel the tangled plot, head-hopping is a necessity. Alice's point of view as a teenager is annoying as she is self-absorbed to the point that she's wearing blinders to everyone else's narrative. I much preferred Alice's point of view as an octagenarian; her character becomes much more likable as the story progresses. Eleanor is perhaps the most intriguing character in the entire book. Please pay close attention to her narrative. Although flawed, she also suffers the most loss. Sadie's story is a little confusing. It took me a while to catch on to what is going on in her life. Her story arc is fascinating: She is smart, and she is confident in her instincts as well as her investigative abilities. Had it not been for her inimitable determination, two closed cases would have gone unsolved.
Morton is the master at family saga/dramas. Her stories always delve deep into family histories and secrets, and the settings are usually glorious English country estates. All of her characters are complex, and they are relatable even when their narratives are flawed. The Lake House is not my favorite of Morton's books, but I did love it. My only criticism is the ending: Everything falls into place a wee bit too easily for me. I started losing my suspension of disbelief.
You may read my reviews of Morton's other books by clicking on the links: The Distant Hours and The Secret Keeper. I thought I'd reviewed The Forgotten Garden on my blog, but apparently not. I'll try to write a review of it soon because it's my favorite of all her books.
What have you been reading lately? This is a link party!