The Lake of Dreams
By Kim Edwards
Viking a division of Penguin Group / 375 Hudson Street / New York, NY 10014
First Printing: 2011
Concept: “At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home to upstate New York 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. As Lucy explored these traces of her lineage – from an heirloom blanket and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained glass windows, both in her hometown and beyond a new family narrative emerges. It will link her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement and yield dramatic insights that will free her to live her life to its fullest and deepest.”
Review: We meet Lucy and her boyfriend “Yoshi” in the midst of slew of aftershocks that are hitting Japan. First of all, really? “Yoshi?” Did Ms. Edwards look to an aging Mario Brothers game for names? Next, being from southern California and having experienced 2 major quakes and countless smaller quakes, I can tell you, you don’t contemplate life and/or death as is described in the first chapter of this book. The first chapter almost killed the book for me in fact.
Lucy travels home to The Lake of Dreams (a small lake community in the “finger lakes district” along the shores of Lake Michigan) and visits her mother. It’s been years since she’s been home and as is the case usually when one goes home after being away for several years, she has some family matters to deal with and an old ex flame to boot. Lucy has struggled with some issues concerning her father’s death several years earlier as well. During one sleepless night, she discovers some “mysterious” old papers and embarks on an adventure of sorts. Lucy uncovers some secrets 100 years in the making and some secrets very recent. She examines relationships from almost everyone around her, including her own. Everything unfolds at a slow pace, sort of like what I imagine life would be like in a community such as in The Lake of Dreams.
What I liked: Ms. Edwards is an excellent author. She wrote The Memory Keeper’s Daughter and even though it was a heavy book, it was well written and kept you wanting to find out what happens in a story that wasn’t really a *feel good* one. This time around, the writing is still so excellent that it keeps you turning the pages even though it’s a very slow moving book. My favorite thing in the book though is Lucy’s ex flame’s name. Keegan Falls. Isn’t that just a great name?
What I disliked: This is probably one of the most slow, most boring book I’ve ever read. To be honest with you, I ended up skimming over paragraphs because I just couldn’t hang on. And ultimately, there was no reason for me to hang on. There was no story here. No point. Nothing came together even though the story line found it ending. I didn’t connect with a single character in the book. This book received excellent reviews from my fellow readers and honestly, I wonder why? I loved the writing. I hated the slowness of the story. And the story, or what little there was of it, bored me to tears. I was very happy I got this book from my library and didn’t spend my book money on it.
My rating: 2 dim stars
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