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Lost Lake: A Novel
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Lost Lake: A Novel

4.4 134
by Sarah Addison Allen
 

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The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard—and she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a life ago, and now the idyllic Georgia lakeside community is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband, along with most of her demanding extended family, is gone. . .as are many of her old dreams and desires. But then, just as Eby

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Lost Lake 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 134 reviews.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Kate Pheris not only lost her husband but her sense of time because all of a sudden a year has passed since his death and she finds herself without knowing why or how on a road to a place she doesn’t want to travel to move in with her ultra controlling mother in law Cricket. So when karma comes calling in the form of a never seen postcard from a long lost aunt from a magical summer from Kate’s childhood she decides that she and her daughter Devin need this one last summer of fun and magic where Devin can regain her childhood and to where Kate’s childhood lives, Lost Lake Georgia. Devin knows her mom’s finally back from where she went when her dad died, she can’t loose her again, she doesn’t want to live with her grandmother, and when she and her mom finally arrive at Lost Lake it’s like they’ve come home, oh and there’s an Alligator too! Eby Pim’s decided to finally sell her beloved Lost Lake resort, that she and her husband George bought many years ago. Things are falling apart, guests aren’t returning and she’s finally ready to let go. Until a whirling dervish of a great great niece and her mother arrive and Eby feels something she hadn’t in a long time, hope. Sarah Addison Allen has taken me on some very magical journeys from all her past astounding entrancing adventures and the latest, Lost Lake is no different. She weaves her intricate, multi-faceted web of suspense, secrets, myths and realities. She acquaints us to her cast of cast-offs as she builds her mystical magical world and paints in all the spaces but never quite within the lines with the beautiful Technicolor of her narrative. Her characters are all a delight from her main protagonist Kate who’s charmingly innocent, to Devin who’s older and wiser than her years to Eby, the guests and the residents of town to her purely fantastical Alligator. I implore you to take a chance if you haven’t read Sarah, if you believe in magic she will speak to your inner child and open you up to possibilities that our adult psyches won’t allow. Sarah thank you once again, especially now for still believing in magic after all you’ve been through in your personal life and for sharing that magic with us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Magical. If you are looking for love and laughs, family and friendships this is the perfect book.
The_Book_Goddess More than 1 year ago
I want to start this review by saying I have loved Sarah Addison Allen as an author since I read Garden Spells . It was so beautiful and different, that I knew I had to get my hands on every book she has written and I have. While waiting for this book to come out, I learned that the delay was due to the fact that the author was battling a very serious health problem and my heart absolutely ached for her. I was so happy to read in the acknowledgements section of this book that she has just reached two years with clear scans. My thoughts and prayers will continue to go out to this author. Now, for my review of this book...it was just as magical and all-consuming as her prior books. There is just something about Allen's writing that makes you want to climb into the book to spend time with her characters. I was so excited when I got this book, I had to read it in a single sitting. The book begins in the 1960's, which briefly introduces us to newlyweds, George and Eby, and their adventurous honeymoon in Paris. We then flash forward to the present day, where Eby's great-niece, Kate, is "waking up" after a year of being asleep. No, she wasn't in a coma, this is where the magic of Allen's writing comes into play. We learn about this very strange family, relative by relative, to learn about a certain family curse. Now is it a real curse, I don't get that feeling. But the author writes in a way that makes you realize it is always your choice to be happy and move forward after great loss. There is a wonderful line in the book that says something to the effect of "if you are too busy mourning what your empty cup, you will miss the opportunity to fill it again". I am paraphrasing, but I found that line extremely striking. The magic in this book is more subtle than in prior books, but I felt that it fit the story well. This is ultimately a book about finding your strength and moving forward with the support of friends and family and taking care of each other. I wish Lost Lake was a real place to go...it sounds like a magical place full of peace and healing. Sarah Addison Allen knocked it out of the park again for me and I cannot wait to see what she does next. If you have never read this author before, do yourself a favor and read all of her books. I received a copy of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
joydox More than 1 year ago
I love Sarah's books -- her writing, the way she explores relationships, the peak into Southern living, and that little bit of magic her readers have come to expect. If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed.
DudeRanchWoman More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of SAA's books and this one is no exception.  She has an amazing way of pulling you into a magical story with interesting, unique yet relateable characters.  I always feel uplifted and joyful when I've finished one of her books.  Here's to never giving up on your biggest, wildest most heart-felt dreams!!  Thank you again for the magic Sarah Addison Allen!!
hanro More than 1 year ago
I am so happy I read this book! I picked up this book with a sense of trepidation after reading the Peach Keeper which was good, a little dark; but I did not feel it was Sarah's strongest story -- there just seemed to be an element missing. BUT ... that SPARK IS BACK! It is again a contemporary fairy tale set in a small Southern town, this time in Georgia. It features some serious topics and situations written with a great sense of realism, but with a touch of whimsy. There is a quiet sense of adventure, colorful characters, and MAGIC. This story is a multi-character study. The past is itself a character. Everyone is in transition, whether they are aware of it or not. “Eby knew all too well that there was a fine line when it came to grief. If you ignore it, it goes away, but then it always comes back when you least expect it. If you let it stay, if you make a place for it in your life, it gets too comfortable and it never leaves. It was best to treat grief like a guest. You acknowledge it, you cater to it, then you send it on its way.” Allen has a unique writing and sense of timing; she has a beautifully lyrical sense of language with which she sends forth ideas and phrases that end up quietly wrapping themselves around you and become universal truths.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes you back to remember your childhood self (or maybe just my summers of dress up and make-believe). Great story but i expected nothing less from Allen. The book is stand alone but Im hoping Allen will revisit these characters in a future book.
lildirtydesigner More than 1 year ago
Do have regrets? If you can have a second chance would you take it? If you could change the path of your life, would you? Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen is a story about changing the path of your life. We meet Kate, a widow and mother who have been hiding out for the last year since her husband died. She allowed sorrow to swallow her up until one day she woke up to find her life being changed to a life she didn't want her daughter to have. On a whim her and Devin find a postcard from a great aunt who owns Lost Lake. Lost Lake was the last summer of her own childhood where she felt happy, loved and overall a child. She wanted Devin to have the same summer she did. Kate's journey is a special one because it is filled with a handful of characters that like all of Sarah Addison Allen books, you fall in love with. Ms. Allen has a special gift to give each character a special part of the story - even if it only a paragraph long. This is a lovely book that you would like to read when your own life has stopped and you have two paths to follow. I would really love to read a sequel to this to see how everyone turns out....though I know they all are doing well.
Twink More than 1 year ago
I love Sarah Addison Allen's storytelling. The Sugar Queen is a favourite of mine. Although, Addison Allen's newest release, Lost Lake, may just supplant it! Kate Pheris has just 'woken up' after a year. Her husband has passed away and she's going through the motions of living for her daughter Devin's sake. Her mother-in-law has been helping her for the past year, but that help has crossed over a line. She's now dictating the direction of Kate and Devin's lives. When Devin comes across an old postcard from Kate's Aunt Eby, Kate makes a snap decision to visit Eby at Lost Lake. Kate's happiest summer as a child was spent there. But, Kate and Devin's arrival may be too late. Eby has agreed to sell the small resort to a local developer. But perhaps Lost Lake does not want to be sold...... Lost Lake is filled with rich characters, all with their own back story, all searching for 'something. 'Each one held my interest, but I had a special fondness for Bulahdeen, a woman who has been coming to Lost Lake for thirty years. I must admit, Addison Allen's descriptions of Lost Lake had me wanting to visit, to sit on the dock, to stay in one of the quaint cabins, to get to know Eby and to be part of the circle of Lost Lake. Addison Allen weaves together wonderfully warm tales with quirky characters and then slips in a bit of magic when you're not looking. And once you notice the magic, you realize it's quite right that it's in the story. And then you begin to think 'what if'... Lost Lake had me hoping 'what if' could truly happen. Lost Lake was another enchanting read from Sarah Addison Allen. I had a quick listen to the audio version as well - I think Janet Metzger does an excellent job bring the characters and story to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful simple story with just the right amount of fantasy to be real and reality to be fantastic! Endings can be wonderful in the truest sense of the word.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Life is what you make it; Never give up the dream; Start anew books are my favorite. Losing a loved one in your life is devastating but once breaking out of the fog, Kate and her daughter take a chance and move on. Creating a new life is what so many people dream of. The trick is making the right choices for one and all. Uplifting and engaging and amazing, interesting characters make a difference.
Becca74 More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed Allen's books. I enjoy the her use of flashbacks and the unexplainable tendencies her characters have. The ending of this book is somewhat predictable but it is still enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked reading this book and it remimded me of my fun camp days. Would Reccomend it for a easy entertaining read.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
Compelling story I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review. This book was a solid 4 star read. Sarah Addison Allen definitely knows how to tell a compelling story weaving the past, the present, and a little bit of magic. Grief plays a major role in this book but this is not a sad book. Instead, I found this book to be one of hope. The story starts with Kate waking up. Kate is not waking up from a night of sleep but from a year of extreme grief. She basically shut down when her husband was killed and has allowed her mother in law, Cricket to take over. The day that Kate is waking up is in fact also the day that she is scheduled to move into her mother in law's house. Kate's daughter, Devin, finds a postcard just before they are supposed to leave from Kate's great aunt Eby, the owner of Lost Lake. Kate feels drawn to Lost Lake and decides to take her daughter and go right away. When she arrives at Eby's resort, she learns that her aunt has agreed to sell Lost Lake. At the resort Kate meets an interesting group of people and learns a few things about her family. She becomes reacquainted with Wes, the boy she met when she visited the resort when she was 12. The author has created a story with wonderfully rich characters. I would love to spend a summer at Lost Lake watching Selma work her magic with the men, Devin run around in her tutu and cowboy boots, Bulahdeen planning parties, and Eby taking care of everyone. The way that Kate, Devin, Eby, Cricket, and Wes are dealing with grief was very realistic for me. Each of the characters handled things a bit differently but in an authentic manner. The only thing that the book seemed to be missing for me was a bit of unpredictability. I had a basic idea of what was going to happen in the book early on and there were no surprises. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. It is a great example of magical realism written by a wonderful author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Sarah Addison Allen's books. The characters always pull you in so that you can't stop reading until you find out what happens to them. This book is no exception.
JOMONV More than 1 year ago
This was a lovely book. Great read by one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lost Lake was another magical creation from Sarah Addison Allen. While it wasn't my favorite of her books, it was still wonderful. She is, and will remain, one of my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a nice book, but does not compare to Ms Allen's earlier novels. Lost Lake had peeks of the beautiful whimsy and enchanting phrasing that colored her previous novels, but not enough to make me fall in love with the book, Ms Allen is definitely a very talented writer and her precious gift for magical allusion and realism shows up in The Peach Keeper, Garden Spells, .Sugar Queen, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon. Those books are miracles of writing. I want to extend my thank you to Ms Allen for those beautiful books and send her my best wishes for continued good health.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This just the kind of book to take away the winter doldrums!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I waited two years for another Sara Addison Allen book. This is a lovely story of the magic of life well lived, of overcoming regrets and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thewanderingjew More than 1 year ago
This book will take you away into a world of possibilities, second chances and hope after traumatic events, loss and sadness. It will leave you smiling even though the plot is obvious and the ending is all but expected. The characters are quirky and lovable even with their faults. The setting is warm and inviting. The ending is joyous. In the autumn of 1962, Eby and her husband George are in Paris on an extended honeymoon. George is very wealthy and Eby’s family has designs on his fortune. As they crossed the Bridge of the Untrue, they witness the attempted suicide of a beautiful and tearful, young woman named Lisette. She throws herself into the water even after they try to stop her, and George jumps right in and rescues her. When Eby and George return home, Lisette soon follows. Shortly after, Eby and George give most of their money away to charity and begin a new and quieter life. They bought a place called Lost Lake, a resort with several cabins and they settled there. They turned their back on all the members of the family who had badgered them for a piece of their fortune, especially her sister and her mother and spent many happy years together. In the present day, the reader meets Kate and Matt who were married after she discovered she was pregnant. Both in their teens, very much in love, they made a life for themselves although his wealthy mother disowned them. They opened a moderately successful bike shop called Pheris Wheels. Kate ran the business end and Matt was the mechanical end. They were happy, not rich, but they had enough. Their daughter Devin was a free spirit, as Kate had been as a girl, and she dressed herself up in outlandishly wild outfits that she adored. She was a singular creature with a gifted eye for fantasy and the supernatural. When a tragic bicycle accident takes Matt from Kate, she falls into a stuporous state. Her estranged mother-in-law, Cricket, then takes the opportunity to step in and take control. On the surface, she merely wants to help, but as Kate succumbs to being taken care of and basically drops out of her life for a year, Cricket is eyeing a political future. She has plans to launch her career using Devin and Kate in her campaign. When Kate comes to herself, she is not sure she wants the same things as her mother-in-law, and she swoops Devin up and runs away to Lost Lake, the place she spent the happiest summer of her life when she was 12 years old. Lost Lake is still owned by her great-aunt Eby who also marched to a different drummer! With the help of Cricket, a real estate mogul, Kate’s bicycle shop and home had been sold providing her with a sizable nest egg. Although mother-in-law wants Kate and Devin to live with her, after finding her own sea legs again, she has doubts about it and thinks she would prefer independence, and she knows that is also Devin’s preference. Devin needs her to be strong so she can once again trust her mother. At Lost Lake the reader meets very charming characters, each with a distinct unusual personality; each one will touch us… from the gentle, mute and fashionable Lisette to the obstreperous, ostentatious Selma who flirts with other people’s husbands, all will find a place in our hearts. Imbued with magic and mystery, at times somber and at other times humorous, this book will delight Allen’s fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
She’d been slumbering for a year; the world around her had been carrying on without her. Her mother-in-law Cricket tried to transform Kate’s daughter Devin, as she saw fit and Kate’s husband was now buried deep into the earth’s surface. Devin tried to wake her mother from her slumber as they gathered the rest of their belongings. They were now moving in with Cricket. The trunk in the attic with its hidden treasures was still holding Devin’s attention. Hidden between the old, enchanted clothing the two discovered a hidden postcard. Devin immediately sets her sights on this icon destination as her mother reminiscences about the summer she spent there when she was 12. Lost Lake, the magical lake ran by her Aunt Eby, the best summer she ever had. Images and memories of my own summers came swarming up to me as I captured this image in my head. Attending church camp every year, I hated to go but coming home I always seemed to have had a good time. As Sarah Allen’s words swam across the page, they captured the true essence of the novel. Every character had a story and together they made a community, a community that was important to the survival of this novel. I drifted inside this story and became an invisible part of the population of Lost Lake. As Kate’s head becomes clearer and her mind no longer was lost to the trauma of her husband’s passing, she realizes that life is passing her by. A last minute decision to return to Lost Lake is set into motion, as Grandma Cricket’s plans get derailed. What Kate and Devin find at Lost Lake is more than just cabins and a lake, they found what they were missing. This book carries so much and it does not leave you hanging. I loved all the relationships and the host of interesting characters that I got to meet, they really were fantastic. The outstanding stories that were intertwined inside the pages really made me love the drama and the relationships that transpired or were in place already. The magical realism the author inserted in the novel had me hooting and hollering (I kid you not!) as it made me smile and it added to the characters and their personalities. This was a wonderful, fabulous, incredible novel. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
sewolf0310 More than 1 year ago
While Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors, this one was a little disappointing, but not for any specific reason. Kate is in a fog. Her daughter, who has a personality all her own, is being raised by her grandmother. Feeling the need to get a grip on her life, Kate decides to take her daughter and travel to a place from her past. Kate’s great aunt is selling a camp that has been a part of the town for generations. The townspeople are sad about the pending sale, but understand an elderly woman cannot run a camp by herself. While her touch of magic is always mixed into her stories with a great cast of characters, it just didn’t seem to be of Sarah’s usual greatness. It is still a good read with so much to keep your interest turning pages. The prequel “Waking Kate” is not a necessary read, but it is enjoyable.