Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Lake of Dreams

By Kim Edwards

From the book jacket:

“At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home to upstate NewYork from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family’s rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be idle curiosities, but soon reveal a hidden family history.”

Just my opinion:

If I were asked to describe this book in just one word, it would have to be AMAZING. This novel ranks right up there as one of the best of the year for me so far.

There are a variety of personal reasons why I enjoyed this book. First, the story revolves around some documents and items found that lead Lucy to a past relative she had never heard anything about before. She begins to do some research to discover more about this person. For me, this is also something I truly enjoy. I love researching the past and the people involved in it. Not long ago, my husband and I discovered a grave marker at an old pioneer cemetery. Overgrown with weeds, the marker was absolutely fascinating (as many older ones often are) and when we got home, I dug out a book written by my husband’s great-uncle about his family. Among those pages, I found the man who was buried in that forgotten place. He had died before my husband’s father was born, so he never knew the man had existed. Smallpox took his life back before there was a cure for it.

Second, I started reading this book the day after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. The book begins with Lucy discussing the constant earthquakes and tremors she endures while living in Japan. Her words – and the fear she was often unable to gain control of – were so very poignant given the recent events. As she described the difference between how she felt and how the man she was involved with dealt with it gave me a fascinating perspective on this current and very real disaster.

The third – and most important – reason why I liked this book is because the author is an excellent writer. The story is well put together with wonderful dialogue and descriptions. It was interesting and enjoyable to read. Kim Edwards is also the author of “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,” which garnered high praise, and “The Lake of Dreams” is sure to become a favorite among critics as well. A beautiful and compelling story that is full of life … you really must read this one!

Some favorite passages from the book:

“The earthquakes scare me, too. I don’t know how you can be so calm.” “Well, they either stop or they don’t. There’s not much you can do, is there?”

At night I wake to the sound of trains passing. I miss you.

The raft moved gently, soothingly, on the waves. The moon, almost full, cast the sprawling old house in mild light.

Some dreams matter, illuminate a crucial choice, or reveal some intuition that’s trying to push its way to the surface. Others, though, are detritus, the residue of the day reassembling itself in some disjointed and chaotic way.

The hollyhocks were blooming, their soft bell shapes hanging from the tall stems, and you picked some and began to shape them into dolls—an unopened bud for the head, the blooming flower for a skirt.

1 comment:

Suko said...

LuAnn, I also read (and enjoyed) The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and think I'd enjoy this novel as well. Excellent review.