Author: Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Shelf: Magical Realism
“Don’t you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?”
Yes, yes, I do. And I wish the book had done the same, stuck in a childhood memory of a summer, right before everything went straight to hell; and fifteen years later, we are told those stories, their repercussions and many others and more, lost threads and friendships come full circle. But beyond, it’s about finally, FINALLY finding you place and mending old fences with your own-self. It’s the second part of a story that began for each person in this multi-POV story in different times of their lives. Old people, young people, ageless people.
YET I think I’d have LOVED this as a middle-grade book, and that’s simply not for my personal preference. The story of the past was a more emotionally gripping story, more magical while this adult peep into their lives was about healing; and in a way, the book I want could never compare to the one I read, because any story would be incomplete without closure, and Lost Lake provides closure to us, the readers.
One of the things I really liked was that despite the multiple old people narrating their parts, their was nary a hint or inkling that life had slowed down for them, that they had it all figured out long ago. That it’s never too late to find love, or happiness. Never too late to find real friends and settle down for a glass of wine, and that letting go of grief is as painful as the pain itself, maybe more so, and that’s okay, that’s perfectly fine so long as you fill up the vacancy in time enough. And sometimes, you don’t need to let go of your grief, you couldn’t and that’s fine as long as it doesn’t bloat and occupy every corner of space of your being.
Another thing I absolutely loved was that Ms Allen dared out to speak in astute terms all those things that make up for nostalgia and melancholy.
For a moment Kate felt indescribably sad, because she couldn’t go with Devin[her daughter] back to her childhood. She could only stand here as an adult as the distance became greater and greater until, finally, there was an ocean hanging between them.
Most people never get what they want because they change what they want, change it to something more practical or reachable, change it to something more practical or reachable.
…she would have done anything to preserve that moment, to stick it in a jar like a fly and watch it forever.
Nevertheless, this wasn’t a book about preservation; for some it was a new beginning in the place where their stories once tried to take off, and for others, it’s about moving on. The characters are all unique and different; even the most stable and happy person has their moments of breakdown. You might think she has it all figured out, she might, everyone else might but it’s obvious by how fragile a thread most things in her life are held.
It was a slow and peaceful type of novel, exactly as it was expected to be; there’s no fault with it per se, and all I really want to say with my 3-star rating is that I liked it.
[But yay! My first Sarah Addison Allen!]
I want to meet the ghost ladies- Ursula, Magdalene and Betty.
Thanks to St Martin’s Press for proving a review copy.