Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lake of Dreams - Kim Edwards

With revelations as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her best-selling phenomenon, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman's homecoming to the lake of her childhood, and the discovery of a secret past that will alter her understanding of her family forever.
At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home to upstate New York from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade before. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, she discovers a collection of curiosities locked in a window seat. As Lucy explores these traces of her lineage--from an heirloom blanket and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows, both in her hometown and beyond--a new family history emerges, one that will link her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yield dramatic insights that free her to live her life to its fullest and deepest. 
With surprises at every turn, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting saga in which every element is as carefully placed as a puzzle--one that's sure to enthrall the millions of readers who loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter. 

Title: The Lake of Dreams
Author: Kim Edwards
Genre: Adult Fiction, General Fiction
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
My rating: 4/5

Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life. She's currently unemployed, feeling like something is missing in her life. When she finds out that her mother has been in an accident, she decides to head back to her childhood home for a visit. Her return home stirs up some memories of the past--of her father's death, and her feelings for her old flame who is now a prominent member of the town. While there, she finds some hidden articles that capture her interest, and she decides to embark on a quest to find out the history behind them. What she doesn't realize is that these articles link her family to the suffragette movement, and that they will also ultimately help her on her own personal journey. 
A captivating, mesmerizing read. Beautifully descriptive, and full of elegant prose, the story unfurls slowly as it captures the readers interest. Lucy is a realistic character, one that I think many can and will identify with. She is lost, at a juncture in her life. She's disillusioned, and frustrated as she feels that she is standing still without a job while her significant other, Yoshi, is happily immersed in a project at his work. When she learns of her mother's accident, she is hesitant at first to head home due to her mother's statements that she is fine, and the unresolved history of her father's death. Yoshi tempts her with the idea that he'll meet up with her and finally meet her mother once his project is wrapped up. With that in mind, she heads back to her childhood home. 
I really enjoyed how Edwards used the hidden letters and the newfound windows to peel back history and give us a glimpse of the suffragette movement, and I also liked how she made it such a personal journey for Lucy. The mystery behind Lucy's father's death, and her newfound relations is revealed at a slow pace, so readers who enjoy a fast-paced read might not enjoy the meandering pace set in The Lake of Dreams. Regardless, I found the read highly enjoyable, and I enjoyed the added tension of Lucy's old flame, Keegan. 
All in all, a gorgeous and descriptive read. From the shores of Japan, to the wilds of upstate New York, the writing is vivid, and exceptional. The history and letters revealed add to the poetic nature of the book. Though I may not have been completely hooked at the beginning due to the slow pacing; I found that I was subtly drawn in, until I couldn't put the book down and I had to find out what happened, and how it affected Lucy and her family. 

1 comment:

Dazzling Mage said...

I remember loving The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and I can't wait to read this. Awesome review.