Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The release date of Sarah Addison Allen's newest book, Lost Lake , is only three weeks away and I can tell you that it does not disappoint.  Thank you Goodreads for the Advance Readers' Edition.  Even if I hadn't won this book, I would have bought it right away.  If you haven't had the pleasure of an introduction to Ms. Allen's work, now is the time to change that.  Her characters are rich and filled with magic.  These books may just be the thing to help you through the post holiday doldrums.
Lost Lake  follows Kate, a newly widowed mother of a young daughter as she tries to find herself after a year of mourning.  She takes her daughter Devin to visit the lake resort of her Great-Aunt Eby whom she has not seen since she was a child herself.  It is here that Kate fully wakes up to the world around her, Eby realizes how important she still is to the people in her small town and in her newly reunited family, and Devin discovers a magic alligator intent upon saving them all.
I loved the flashbacks to Eby's 1962 honeymoon in Paris and how in love she and her husband George were.  "He could have had his pick of beautiful belles....But he'd loved only Eby.  You didn't need a mirror to tell you that you were beautiful when you had proof like that."  Kate doesn't have the same feelings regarding her young marriage, but she is still heartbroken at its loss.  Devin is a free-spirited child with her own sense of style.  "She loved wearing stripes with polka dots, and tutus, and pink and green socks with orange patent-leather shoes.  Devin could[n't] care less what people thought about her."
And as in any family, there is drama and conflict.  Kate's mother-in-law, Cricket, swoops in to take over after the death of her son.  She has very specific plans for Kate and Devin and those plans certainly don't include tutus or dress up clothes or butterfly wings.  She orchestrates the sale of the business that Kate had run with her husband as well as the house Kate had inherited from her mother so that Kate and Devin can move in with her.  Eby's extended honeymoon was seen as an escape as she and George tried to avoid Eby's family's feelings of entitlement to George's money.  When they must finally return home, it is not to the welcome she had imagined.
I always enjoy reading books by Sarah Addison Allen and I eagerly anticipate each release.  This is the first book that she has published after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.  Her readers are certainly grateful to have her back.  I will leave you with this one last quote from which I think we can all learn:
"The trick to getting through life, she'd told him, is not to hate it when it isn't exactly how you think it should be."  

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