Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2014

Description (from amazon.com)

From the author of 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 life 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 not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. 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.

My Review ( 4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

 
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen has some serious (realistic) elements and some magical/fantasy/ghostly elements.  The  magical/fantasy/ghostly elements in this story are taken so mater of factually that they too seem realistic!  I’ve recently learned this is termed Magical Realism.  (See: Wikipedia definition for Magical Realism.)
Lost Lake, a cabin retreat, vacation spot, in Georgia has fallen to a state of disrepair.  Owner, Eby, once ran a lively retreat with her, now deceased, husband George and her friend Lisette.  Eby is considering selling it.
Kate, has just ‘woken up’ from a year of grieving over her husband’s untimely death.  Kate visited her Great Aunt Eby’s Lost Lake with her parents when she was twelve years old.  She now returns with, her eight year old daughter, Devin.  Does Kate recapture the magic she once had?
This story is uplifting and, in addition to Devin’s colorful outfits, it has some colorful characters, including a few old-timers who return to Lost Lake each year.
One theme in this story is about overcoming grief.  Without giving away too many details of the story, I thought I would simply conclude with a couple of quotes from the book.

“Eby knew all too well that there was a fine line when it came to grief.  If you ignore it, it goes away, but then it always comes back when you least expect it.  If you let it stay, if you make a place for it in your life, it gets too comfortable and it never leaves.  It was best to treat grief like a guest.  You acknowledge it, you cater to it, then you send it on its way.” p. 154

About the ending:

“Sometimes, the best endings are the ones that surprise you. Sometimes, the best are the ones that have everything happening exactly how you want it to happen. But the absolute perfect endings are when you get a little of both.” p.289-290.

Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen
Photo credit: Melissa Markis

Note: 

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen is the March Book Club Selection for She Reads.  You can go to SheReads.org, March Book Club Selection, to find links to additional reviews on this book and enter their contest to receive one of five free copies of this book.  

I would like to thank the She Reads Organization and the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, New York  for providing me with this book, free of charge, for review. 

Disclosure of Material Connection

I received this book free from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, New York as a member of the She Reads Network.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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