Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Lost Lake
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Publisher: MacMillan
Release Date: January 21st, 2014
Rating: 4.5/5

Cover Impressions: 
I do like this cover, but it doesn't quite have that magical feel for me that Allen's other books do.  I think it is sort of missing something and I would have loved to see the alligator featured somewhere. 


Lost Lake in Suley, Georgia has been home to Eby and a group of regular visitors since she and her husband bought the magical cottage ground.  As the population ages and visitors are lured away by a new waterpark attraction, Lost Lake is beginning to be forgotten. Eby agrees to sell the property and prepares to spend one last summer in the place so beloved by so many.  Kate has spent the last year in a fog, mourning the death of her husband.  She took a backseat as her mother in law, Cricket, managed their affairs of her and her daughter, Devin.  On the morning that they are to move in with Cricket, Kate's eyes finally clear and she realizes how miserable Devin's life has become.  On a whim, they escape to the one place where Kate felt happy and at peace: Lost Lake.  Once there, Kate begins to discover that the world still holds magic and romance and that returning to her old life may be more difficult than she expected.

I have read all of Sarah Addison Allen's books.  I am a huge fan of her special brand of magical realism and the way that her characters find those elements that have been missing in their lives.  I will admit, Lost Lake started off a little slow.  I was finding myself more inclined to do other things in the evening rather than rushing through my mommy routine in order to jump back into this book.  By about halfway, this issue resolved itself and I became much more invested.  The plot was a little predictable overall, but still held moments that were pleasantly surprising. 

The characters were all very well fleshed out and dynamic.  I would have liked to see a little more of Devin's point of view as her alligator-chasing was one of my favorite elements on the novel.  I also throughly enjoyed Selma and her charms.  She had an ability to snag any man, even enticing him away from his wife, but a finite number of chances to do so.  I would love to see a novel or novella that featured her or others that practiced her brand of magic.  Other character highlights included Bulahdeen and Lisette.  I loved the way that Allen incorporated their backstories and added depth to them and to the novel itself.

Sarah Addison Allen has a wonderful way of interweaving magical elements with a contemporary story in the most believable way.  No one doubts that ___ sees an alligator, or that Selma's tiny charms weld magnificent power of men.  The book abounds with beautiful coincidences could never be mere coincidences and show how mysterious and miraculous life can be.  Ultimately, Lost Lake is a story of family, grief and the power to overcome loss at its most painful.  Every character experiences growth through this story and it is their strength and love for one another that allows them to forgiveness and hope.

Lost Lake is a wonderful story and an excellent addition to the already impressive list of Sarah Addison Allen.  I fully believe that for as long as she is writing, I will be reading her books. 

Notable Quotables: 

"Like heat from a fire, the closer to water you are, the stronger you feel it."

"Just when you think you know the ending, it changes."


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