Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: Lost Lake    
Author: Sarah Addison Allen       
Published: January 2014; St. Martin's Press  
Format: Hardcover / e-book; 296 pages  
Source: Publisher / Netgalley / She Reads    

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 thoughts: I have long been a fan of Sarah Addison Allen since first devouring her book The Peach Keeper. After listening to that, I went on to read or listen to everything she has written and have absolutely loved each and every story - to the point that I don't even know if I could pick a favorite, they are all so good! So of course I was over the moon when I heard that She Reads was selecting Sarah Addison Allen's newest book, Lost Lake as their March book club pick!!!

I think one of my favorite aspects of SAA's books is her use of magic - not too much to be hokey but just the right amount that you can easily suspend belief while enjoying her books. It seems each of the her characters have magic in them, whether they realize it or not, and to me, this just enhances my enjoyment of the book. It's this magical realism and a touch of whismy that I just love that seems to flow through the pages and keeps you hooked.

The story itself is about loss and healing - two rather heavy topics, but done in such a way that you are left feeling uplifted at the end of the book. Kate is trying to start a new life after the death of her husband. She didn't get off to a great start, having spent the first year "asleep," but while packing up her house, she and her daughter come across an old postcard from Kate's great aunt's property, called Lost Lake and they decide to take an impromptu trip there.

Once there at Lost Lake, we meet a whole cast of colorful, eclectic characters, each adding to the overall magic of the book. Each character is quite interesting on their own, but when put together, they create quite an interesting tale. There are some romances brewing, some hurts and losses that need healing, and Lost Lake provides all that and more.

With all her books, I find that SAA's writing as is beautiful as the story is magical. There aren't too many times that I mark up a book or use sticky notes to highlight a phrase or even a paragraph, but I found my doing that quite a few times as I read this book. I'm going to leave you with my favorite:

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.

The March Book Club Selection from She Reads is Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Head over to the She Reads website to read other reviews and related posts as well as a chance to win a copy of the book.




  1. Great review and I like that quote. I have this book on my shelf and seriously need to get to it. The author is new to me, but I like how you describe her writing in your review. She sounds like a wonderful author.

  2. I enjoyed reading your review. I enjoyed this book as well.

  3. This was another great SAA book! I loved the characters at Lost Lake.

  4. I have loved all the SAA books I have read. Haven't read this one yet though.

  5. I read and reviewed this not too long ago on my blog, Tales Between the Pages. I loved that quote too. I also loved how quirky and well thought out the supporting characters were.

  6. It was as if you and I had the same LOST LAKE experience. I am also a big fan of Allen and have read all of her books to date.

    When I stopped by another She Reads Blog before yours I said that my copy of LOST LAKE is covered with post its marking quotes. Good writing, wonderful characters and a splash of magic what more could one as for?

  7. I love SAA, and like you, I loved Lost Lake. I didn't want to leave that magical place!


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