Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
(Summary taken from inside the book jacket) "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 George 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."
I really liked this book! I loved the feeling of magical fate in this book. I loved the feelings of letting go (Hahaha.....guess what is playing on my ipod right now?? Yep, "Let It Go" from "Frozen." Funny.) and moving on. I loved the lesson of not being a victim and of taking control of your own life. The characters are very well done and I loved almost all of them. Kate is such a good character. I loved the first words of the first chapter: "'Wake up Kate!' And, exactly one year to the day that she fell asleep, Kate finally did." Wow, right? I was intrigued from the start. Why had she been asleep for a whole year? What had caused that? Was she in a coma? And as I read I became more and more entranced with Kate's story. I loved her daughter Devin. You know that sleep Kate had been in? Well, it was more of an indifference for the world around her. She was in mourning after the death of her husband. She had functioned almost normally, she just hadn't been quite as awake as normal. She had thought her daughter hadn't noticed. She had. I love this line: "'I've missed you,' she said, then ran away again, leaving Kate standing there, shocked. Kate didn't think anyone knew. But Devin did. She knew Kate had been asleep all this time." I love the writing in this book. It's easy to read and understand, and it just pulls you in. It's very well done. I love many of the other characters as well. I loved Eby and George and their relationship. Their honeymoon was awesome. I wish my husband and I could have done that! I love the love that Eby has for him, and him for her. I love all the ladies at Lost Lake. They are a fun and eccentric group! Hahaha......it makes me wonder what kind of old lady I will be. :) I really enjoyed watching the growth and coming alive of both Kate and Devin in the story. There's a hint of magic in the book, and it caught me as corny at first, but then I just got lost in the story. There are some surprises that caught me off guard, and they brought the story together. It was a little slow in parts, but not enough to make me stop reading. I love personal interest stories. I'm amazed at how different people live.
There are only a few profane words in this book, and they are minor ones. I'd say it's 99% clean. There is an attempted suicide, but you don't know that until after, and there is a suicide, but it is kind of more background information. There is also a house fire that ends up killing two people, but it happened before the story takes place, so it is also a background story. There is one character, Selma, who is quite the "lady." She has had seven husbands, and they were all married when she seduced them. With her comes the aura of all things "intimacy" related. There aren't any scenes, but there are innuendos and she talks about it.
I really liked this book. I liked the hint of mystery, romance, and magic. I loved the lessons of family, moving on after bad things happen, finding yourself, not letting others run your life, and loving those around you. I definitely recommend this book!
"You can't change where you came 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." (pg. 254)
"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."
Rating: PG-13+ (Minor profanity; suicide; "intimacy" innuendos and talk of, including seducing married men; a house fire that kills two people )
Recommendation: 14-15 and up, depending on the maturity of the reader. Parents should read it first to decide if their child is mature enough.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.