Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

I should start this review with the acknowledgement that I am a huge fan of this author. Ever since I stumbled on Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen I have been hooked. She hasn't written a huge inventory of books yet so I have been known to read them slowly to savor them.

What makes her books so wonderful, in my opinion, is the combination of some consistent elements to the stories. Typically there is a heroine featured who has a capacity for strength that she is not aware of who goes through a journey of self discovery. There is romance that is not really overt but weaved into the story. The supernatural always plays a role in Allen's books, without focusing on the paranormal, including different forms of ghosts or spirits as well as touches of other magic.

In this particular story Kate awakens to full consciousness about a year after her husband suddenly dies. She find herself in a new world that has been created by her mother in law while she was not fully present. This includes the sale of her family home, a new job in her mother in law's realty company, and her creative free spirited 8 year old daughter Devin enrolled in a private school with a uniform. It's the morning that Kate is supposed to move in with her mother in law when her daughter discovers an old postcard that had been hidden in the attic beneath other family treasures in a trunk that is from Kate's great aunt Aunt Eby from her resort property called Lost Lake.

So begins the journey to the decaying Lost Lake with little cabins set in the swamplands of the south. Kate and Devin meet a host of characters include Aunt Eby who is planning on selling the resort, along with community members, staff, and guests that are all a little quirky and full of personality. Kate also finds herself remembering a long lost summer that was a highlight of her childhood that was full of a lot of sadness, and comes face to face with the boy who she shared adventures with during that time. Memories are an important part of this book, as well as rewriting the story by taking control of your life. That comes up with many of the characters in this story, not just with Kate.

All of this being said, I enjoyed this book but it wasn't my favorite one by this author. It may be that I am too demanding and have such high expectations because I look forward to her new book releases. I felt that this book could have provided a lot more and perhaps there were actually too many characters and it took away for the stories of Kate and Devin. Despite all of this, I really did enjoy this book and it was a fast read (even if I tried to savor it) and I ended up cheering for Kate to find true happiness and love.

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