Lost Lake, Sarah Addison Allen
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.
Why are Sarah Addison Allen’s books never long enough?! I think that has been my main complaint with the last few. I need more! Though I suppose I would far rather have that complaint then have a book that I was wanting to end. When you start one of Addison Allen’s books you really can tell where the story is going to go, but they’re always happy (even when bittersweet) and the sense of whimsy that follows along is always enjoyable for me. This book starts with Kate “waking up” after sleep walking through the year after her husband’s death and really watching her 8 year-old daughter for the first time in that year. Kate and her daughter Devin find a postcard sent 15 years earlier from Kate’s aunt Eby at Lost Lake and they decide to drive the 4 hours to see if the resort is still there. At the same time Eby has decided to sell Lost Lake to a developer and warns her last regular guests this will be the last summer.
This book starts out as a farewell to Lost Lake and a 1 day journey for Kate and Devin but turns into a magical summer. I really loved getting to see Eby and her late husband as they honeymooned in Paris and the steps that took them to Lost Lake. I wish we had been given more time with Kate as she was before Matt’s death (though Waking Kate, a free ebook, is one snapshot). I feel I was given a certain impression of Matt and how he felt about life and I wish I had more depth to him and his relationship with Kate. I think that would have added to the story for me, rather than just hearing that Kate fell apart when her husband died because that’s what the women in her family do.
I love the women that Sarah Addison Allen write, and I really like watching them find their own paths– in this book from young Devin to the older women, Eby and Lisette. Also, I just love the magic. Its not overwhelming, this is not a fantasy story, just a little bit of magic combined with everyday life which I think we all can use sometimes. As I said, the ending is pretty predictable, but for me that did not take away from the pleasure of the story at all. I also think this book was a triumphant return to writing for Sarah Addison Allen after her bout with breast cancer.
I won an advanced copy of this book from the publisher.