Monday, February 21, 2011

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

The Lake of Dreams, Lucy Jarrett returns to her childhood home after being away for some time. She's still haunted by her father's death ten years ago. Shortly after she arrives she finds some letters, pamphlets and other items hidden in a window seat of her mother's house. She discovers that these items may be related to her family's past and a secret that been buried a long time. As she reconnects with her mother, brother, old friends and relatives, she must come to terms with the changes around her before she finally learns the truth about her father's death.

I enjoyed this multifaceted story. There was so much going on with Lucy coming home to find numerous changes in the community and in her family, the guilt and emotions she's harboured about the death of her father, a family history and the connection to the suffragette movement, the mysterious stained glass windows and the artisan who created them, and a long lost relative who wasn't talked about. There were just so many secrets to uncover and learn about during the course of the story, I really wanted to see how the book would end.

I really liked Lucy and Keegan. Lucy's desire to research her family history and right past wrongs was admirable. I also understood her reaction to Keegan after not seeing him for years. As for Keegan, I'm not quite sure why I liked him. Maybe it was because he was so welcoming to Lucy or maybe it was the attraction he had to her or maybe because I found his business so fascinating. I was also rather fond of Iris. As for characters I didn't like, I couldn't quite put my finger on Lucy's boyfriend, Yoshi. I didn't feel the closeness between them as I did with Lucy and Keegan. I also didn't care for Lucy's mother. She felt a bit distant to me.

I was enamoured by the stain glass windows and the history surrounding them. I could have read a whole book just about them and the artisan who designed and created them.

New word:
susurrations (page 327): a whispering sound

My one complaint about the book was the way that information from the past was introduced by way of Rose's letters to her daughter Iris. Not only were these letters never sent, but Rose never intended to send them. I know that people do this (write letters they don't send), but I guess I don't get it. The content of the letters also seemed a bit odd to me. It seemed that sometimes Rose was writing to someone much older, not a young child. Also, do (or did) people really write lengthy punctuated dialogue in letters? Anyway, I think I would have preferred flashbacks, diary entries or something else. As it is, it didn't work for me.


For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit Penguin's website.

For more information about the author and her other books, please visit Kim Edwards's website.

I'd like to thank those nice people at Penguin for this review copy.

The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards, Viking (Penguin), ©2011. ISBN 9780670022175(Advance Uncorrected Proofs), 378p.

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