Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen (summary taken from Goodreads)

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13481275-lost-lake

It’s been a couple weeks since my last book review. I’ve been thinking about my approaches to these reviews. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but I also don’t want to be too vague that the review is boring or doesn’t make anyone want to read it! That said, here is my review for Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen….

I came across Sarah’s books when I was in college. I thought it was neat we were from the same area, Asheville, NC. I also thought the descriptions of her books sounded very magical, but still believable. When I saw that she was writing a new book,  I couldn’t wait to read it! I actually received a free copy from the publisher. *Lucky ME!* With the mixture of magical realism, small southern towns like my own, and romance, Sarah’s books never let me down.

I was hooked from the first page.  The setting is Paris, 1962. Newlyweds George and Eby are celebrating their honeymoon roaming the Parisian streets at night, loving life and each other, avoiding going back home to Atlanta. One night, they witnessed a young girl jump from the Bridge of the Untrue…and then we flash to Kate in Atlanta, present day.

The idea of Kate being asleep for a whole year after her husband died was easy to understand. When you’ve experienced such a tragic loss, you essentially fall asleep to the “real world” and are stuck sleeping inside the shell of your past. What I didn’t like was that Cricket, her mother in law, was trying to dictate her entire life. I wondered why Kate would let Cricket force Devin, Kate’s daughter, into private school, and make Kate and Devin move into Cricket’s house. It’s the day Kate and Devin are supposed to move in with Cricket. Devin finds a post card from an enchanted place of Kate’s youth-Lost Lake, home to her great-aunt Eby. Kate had the best summer of her life there when she was 12 years old, and her and Devin decide to see if it’s still the magical place it once was.

Once Kate and Devin arrive in Lost Lake, Kate realizes it is run down, and Eby has decided to sell the place. We encounter a whole gaggle of  heartbroken misfits, from the elderly Bulahdeen, mute Lisette, and mysterious, quiet, Wes. Kate is searching for herself and doesn’t know what she will find now that she’s at Lost Lake. I really enjoyed the histories of Bulahdeen, Lisette, and Selma because I felt they really added to the history of Lost Lake. Bulahdeen was an orphaned, uneducated young girl who, with the help of a friend, decided she could change her ending and become something different. “You can’t change where you came 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.” (p.254) Aside from Kate, Bulahdeen was my favorite character because she loved reading so much and she believed in the magic of books and Lost Lake. The imagery S.A.A creates with her beautiful choices of words is just spectacular. One of my favorite lines from the book was a description of Wes: “His hair was a russet shade, like an autumn leaf, and it was stuck to his forehead with sweat.” (p.105)  Another is when Lisette, the cook, is reminiscing about old recipes, and how they remind her of her grandmere“Lisette loved the flavors of old, simple recipes, ones made so often that their edges were worn down and they tasted soft and sure of themselves.” I can actually picture my mamaw making her old tried and true recipes, with a recipe card handed down from her grandmother, and the warmth and love that it emits.

This book is all about second chances and rediscovering the magic of your life and S.A.A did an excellent job making me feel like I was at Lost Lake with all the other quirky visitors.