Lost Lake is a magical realism story; a contemporary read with a sprinkle of other worldly magic.
Kate wakes twice; once to the morning sunlight and once to life, one year on from the death of her husband. Realising that she has only been surviving, she promises to do better for the sake of her daughter Devin. Together they discover a postcard sent fifteen years earlier from Kate’s great aunt Eby, from a place called Lost Lake. It reminded Kate of a summer when Kate had been just twelve; it had been her very best trip. It’s currently the school holidays, so on a whim, Kate decides to take her daughter on a road-trip to rediscover Lost Lake.
The lakeside cabins are old and falling into disrepair; the holidaymakers are fewer each summer. Every year a developer offers to buy the property, but landowner Eby refuses to sell. This year is different; she accepts his offer. Over the years the Lost Lake has been a place to escape for many people and not everyone is ready to let this part of their life go. Assuming that Eby will go through with the sale, the town and the occupants of the lake cabins come together for one last party; will it be the end, or can they rewrite the finale?
Using a small group of characters, the author made them all feel like they were my friends and acquaintances. Each had a connection to the Lost Lake; a reason to be there and a need to stay. I particularly liked Billy, the alligator, he was special in a magical way. The connection he had with Kate’s daughter Devin, was lovely. The lake was a place where, over the years, oddball characters could feel at peace. It felt real enough for me to want to go there myself to find my own touch of magic.
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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.