From the Publisher
“Once again, Edwards has created a memorable cast of easily recognizable characters . . . This is a powerful story about the influence of history, the importance of our beliefs, and the willingness to embrace them all.”
“Gorgeously written. . . . luminously beautiful.”
—The Dallas Morning News
“[Edwards’s] latest novel, set in the Finger Lakes region of her native New York, is another tour de force that showcases her talent for engaging readers immediately and, her agile prose would argue, effortlessly.”
“Beautifully written, with vivid imagery and emotion, this book shines with artistry. Edwards has another winner here, and I look forward to reading more of her work.”
“Kim Edwards writes with great wisdom and compassion about family, choices, secrets, and redemption.”
Bestseller Edwards's much anticipated second novel may disappoint fans of her first, The Memory Keeper's Daughter. When Lucy Jarrett returns to her childhood home in Lake of Dreams, N.Y., she learns that her brother, Blake, who's gone into the family business, and his girlfriend hope to drain a controversial marsh to construct a high-end property. Meanwhile, Lucy, who remains haunted by her father's death in a fishing accident years earlier, reconnects with her first boyfriend, Keegan Fall, now a successful glass artist. But when she sees something familiar in the pattern of one of his pieces, and discovers a hidden note in her childhood home, Lucy finally digs into her family's mysterious past. Unfortunately, the lazy expository handling of information mutes the intrigue, and readers will see the reignited spark between Keegan and Lucy coming for miles. All loose ends eventually come together with formulaic ease to rock the family boat. Edwards is at her best when highlighting the strain between her characters. (Jan.)
Lucy Jarrett returns to Lake of Dreams in upstate New York a decade after her father's mysterious death. She was only a teenager then, but she still has not absolved herself of her guilt over not going fishing with him the night he died. Her mother lives alone in a few rooms of their large family home, where Lucy discovers some old letters in a window seat. She grows determined to solve the mysteries surrounding her great-grandfather's suffragette sister, Rose, who was forced to give away an illegitimate daughter and who may have been the muse for a famous stained-glass artist. Lucy's high school boyfriend, Keegan Fall, a glass artist himself, also enters the picture. Lucy's domestic partner, Yoshi, is headed to Lake of Dreams from Japan, and Lucy's not sure if they have a future together. Many unresolved issues come to a head for Lucy in a few short weeks, and this somewhat strains credibility. VERDICT Edwards's runaway best seller, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, which so engaged the hearts of many readers, is indisputably a hard act to follow. Lacking the melodramatic sizzle of its predecessor, this sophomore effort is a colorful but middling multilayered novel about family history, love, and redemption. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10.]—Keddy Ann Outlaw, formerly with Harris Cty. P.L., Houston, TX
Read an Excerpt
Although it is nearly midnight, an unusual light slips through a crack in the wool, brushing her arm like the feathers of a wing. In the next room her parents sleep, and the darkened village is silent, but she has lain awake all these hours and now she climbs out of bed, the floorboards rough against her feet. For weeks people have talked of nothing but the comet, how the earth will pass through clouds of poison vapors in its tail, how the world could end. She is fifteen, and all day she and her brother helped seal the house—windows, doors, even the chimney—with thick black wool, hammers tapping everywhere as their neighbors did the same.
The narrow triangle of strange light touches her here, then there, as she crosses the room. She is wearing her blue dress, almost outgrown, the worn cotton soft against her skin. In this room, a low space over the shop that is hers alone, the wool is only loosely fastened to the window, and when she yanks a corner the cloth falls away, pale comet light swimming all around. She pushes the window open and takes a breath: one, and then another, deeper. Nothing happens. No poison gas, no searing lungs—only the watery spring, the scents of growing things and, distantly, the sea.
And this odd light. The constellations are as familiar as the lines on her own palms, so she does not have to search to find the comet. It soars high, a streaming jewel, circling the years, thrilling and portentous. Distantly a dog barks, and the chickens rustle and complain in their coops. Soft voices rise, mingling, her brother’s and another, one she knows; her heart quickens with anger and yearning both. She hesitates. She has not planned this moment—the turning point of her life it will become. Yet it is also no impulse that pulls her onto the window ledge, her bare feet dangling a few yards above the garden. She is dressed, after all. She left the wool loose on purpose. All day she has been dreaming of the comet, its wild and fiery beauty, what it might mean, how her life might change.
The voices rise, and she then leaps.