Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Magical Summer

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Reviewed by Diane K. M. 
My rating: 3.5 rounded up to 4

"You can't change where you come from, but you can change where you go from here. Just like a book. If you don't like the ending, you make up a new one." -- Lost Lake

I read so much heavy stuff that it was nice to escape into this lovely story about a woman trying to start a new life after her husband's death. Kate and her daughter, Devin, find an old postcard from Lost Lake, Georgia, which is where Kate spent a wonderful summer when she was a girl. On a whim, the pair drive down to see if her aunt is still renting out cabins there, and discover that the lake holds a bit of magic for them. 

There's a colorful cast of characters at the lake that summer, including a woman who has special charms to seduce men, a French cook who can't speak but who has a persistent admirer, and a local handyman who fell in love with Kate when they were kids. Ooh la la! 

Your enjoyment of this book will probably depend on how much you like the Women's Fiction genre. (I hate the term Chick Lit.) This is the fourth Sarah Addison Allen novel I've read, and it's filled with the same southern charm, magical realism, romance and family drama that are in her other stories. My favorite book of hers is still The Peach Keeper, but Lost Lake is a delightful read.

In the Acknowledgments, Allen says she was diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer in 2011 and has now had two years in remission. She wrote, "The year of horrible change brought me to an amazing place in my life." There was more grief in this novel than in her previous books, and the writing was deeper. Good for her for breaking through and finding the strength to write again.

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