The Lake House by Kate Morton
ARC, E-book, 606 pages
October 20, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, Time Shift
Source: Received for review with HFVBT tour
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping 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 have to tell you that I had never read one of Morton’s books before, even though I have had The Forgotten Garden AND The House at Riverton on my bookshelves for quite some time now. I had picked them up because their back matter sounded interesting at the store, but then forgot about them once putting them up on the shelf. Well, rest assured, I am going to have to dust them off sometime in the near future because The Lake House has whet my appetite for her writing!!!
I selected this book for review, again because the description sounded really intriguing. A mystery, a little time shifting between WWI/WWII era and the present, and family drama – always makes for great reading. Despite that, I did not jump into this one as soon as I received it – I sort of left it sitting around until I realized I needed to really get reading or a book of this length was never going to be finished in time for the review! Good thing Morton’s prose just flows and you never really want to let up from practically page one. I have found myself reading this book in all those weird in-between moments in the day – which is SO not me (I am more of a marathon style reader than a sprinter). And each time I put it down it leaves me wanting more, wanting to jump forward or back in time to put pieces together, to solve the puzzle! Just when I think I know what is going on, a tidbit is revealed that shows I wasn’t anywhere close! I love reading mysteries because I love the chase to solve the puzzle – but I often find that I figure out the reveal much too early. Not the case here at all. It is actually interesting that one of the characters, Alice, is a mystery writer who speaks on a couple occasions of the strengths of a good mystery novel – Morton hits all of those points here as well.
Besides being able to write a compelling mystery, Morton crafts wonderfully complete characters. At one time or another we pop into the thoughts of many of them giving you a distinct difference between how they are perceived by others and what they think of themselves. We even get part of a chapter from the perspective of an 11 month old baby. I wasn’t convinced that this construct would work while reading it, but ultimately I think that it served its purpose well in the long run. All the characters took a while to figure out – everyone was hiding something from someone. Don’t even get me started on the atmosphere that this author creates! I could feel each sensation that the characters experienced – I was in that forgotten, bucolic lake side garden with Sadie when she discovered the Edevane estate.
I loved the pacing and flow of this novel. Every chapter and section break compelled me forward. Not only did I want to know what happened next, it never felt completely resolved, thus propelling me into the next chapter. While it felt like it took me a while to get through the book, it wasn’t a bad thing because I was gulping down each and every little detail offered. The novel bounces back and forth between time periods that break down into roughly 3 sections – the present where Sadie has fallen into unofficially re-opening the Edevane case, the time surrounding WWI when Anthony and Eleanor Edevane where newly married and then in the time surrounding WWII and the days around the disappearance of their child Theo. It was easy to keep these sections separated in my head and each time we dipped into one of these sections it added little elements to the mystery – either revealing something or adding to the mystery.
Overall, I say pick up this book ASAP, you won’t regret it!! This has definitely pushed her other books up higher on my TBR.
If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book? You can also hear the author talk about her inspiration behind the novel below.
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:
Also by Kate Morton:
The House at Riverton
The Forgotten Garden
The Distant Hours
The Secret Keeper
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