On Mystic Lake

On Mystic Lake

4.1 327
by Kristin Hannah

View All Available Formats & Editions

Kristin Hannah makes her hardcover debut with this poignant, tender, and true story of love, loss, passion, and the fragile threads that bind families together.

Annie Colwater's only child has just left home for school abroad. On that same day, her husband of twenty years confesses that he's in love with a younger woman. Alone in the house that is no longer a… See more details below


Kristin Hannah makes her hardcover debut with this poignant, tender, and true story of love, loss, passion, and the fragile threads that bind families together.

Annie Colwater's only child has just left home for school abroad. On that same day, her husband of twenty years confesses that he's in love with a younger woman. Alone in the house that is no longer a home, Annie comes to the painful realization that for years she has been slowly disappearing. Lonely and afraid, she retreats to Mystic, the small Washington town where she grew up, hoping that there she can reclaim the woman she once was—the woman she is now desperate to become again.

In Mystic, she is reunited with her first love, Nick Delacroix, a recent widower unable to cope with his grieving, too-silent six-year-old daughter, Izzie. Together, the three of them begin to heal, and, at last, Annie learns that she can love without losing herself. But just when she has found a second chance at happiness, her life is turned upside down again, and Annie must make a choice no woman should have to make. . . .

On Mystic Lake is the story of one seemingly ordinary woman, but the novel speaks to all of us, to anyone who has ever had to choose between what is . . . and what could be.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Jill M. Smith
Always a gifted storyteller, Kristin Hannah outdoes herself with this hauntingly beautiful and richly emotional novel. A shining triumph and not to be missed!
Romantic Times
Nanci Hellmich
You know a book is a winner when you devour it in one evening and hope there's a sequel. Such was the case with Kristin Hannah's new novel, On Mystic Lake, which is both a touching love story and a fascinating study of a woman's compassion for a small child...this page-turner has enough twists and turns to keep the reader up until the wee hours of the morning.
USA Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In her first hardcover after a distinguished career in paperback romance (Home Again), Hannah shows what it takes for an author to make that defining leap. Never one to gush, she is more than ever disciplined in her writing, and the result is a clean, deep thrust into the reader's heart. Annie Colwater knows she's in for a spell of loneliness when her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie, leaves Southern California for a summer in London, but the teary airport farewell is just the beginning of a chaotic time. Blake, Annie's husband, tells her that he wants a divorce so he can start a new life with his sweetheart, a young partner in his law firm. Blake's a cad--a habitual philanderer, and the sort of father who forgets birthdays--but we don't totally blame him for bailing out. Annie is Natalie's doting mother, Blake's dutiful wife and otherwise barely there. In search of the self she must find to survive, Annie goes back to Mystic, Wash., and the home of her father, gruffly loving Hank Borne, who did his best to raise her after the early death of her mother. Maternal loss is a terrain Hannah seems to know to a harrowing fare-thee-well. Annie's redemption begins with her profound kindness to six-year-old Isabella Delacroix, whose mother, Kathy--once Annie's best friend--has recently died. A romance with alcoholic cop Nick, Isabella's father, unfolds tenderly and with suspense, for all its inevitability. When Annie discovers she is pregnant with Blake's child, and then gives birth prematurely to a tiny girl who may not survive, the phrase "page-turner" is redefined. In Hannah's world, nothing can be taken for granted and triumph must be earned, with hard work, truthful reckoning and tears.
Library Journal
The life of Annie Bourne Colwater has always revolved around her family's happiness, so she is unprepared for the day her husband announces he wants a divorce. Adrift in an unfamiliar and painful emotional landscape, she escapes to her childhood home in Mystic Lake, WA. What she finds are people needier than herself, especially her old friend Nick and his motherless, traumatized six-year-old daughter, Izzie. Annie welcomes the love she finds, but, more importantly, she unearths her own dormant soul. When life throws her yet another curve, it is a more dimensional Annie who rises to meet it. Susan Ericksen gives a stunning performance, capturing the very essences of Annie, Nick, and little Izzie, silent and frightened and disappearing one small finger at a time. This is essential for every public library along with a sticker warning against reading while driving and requiring a full pack of tissues. Expect Hannah, a notable romance author, to become a major player in mainstream women's fiction.--Jodi L. Israel, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
The Washington Post
Hannah is superb at delving into her main characters' psyches and delineating nuances of feeling.
Kirkus Reviews
Hannah, after eight paperbacks, abandons her successful time-travelers for a hardcover life of kitchen-sink romance.

From the Publisher
“Superb . . . I’ll heartily recommend On Mystic Lake to any woman . . . who demands that a story leave her in a satisfied glow.”
The Washington Post Book World

“A LUMINESCENT STORY . . . Hannah touches the deepest, most tender corners of our hearts.”

“MARVELOUS . . . A TOUCHING LOVE STORY . . . You know a book is a winner when you devour it in one evening and hope there’s a sequel. . . . This page-turner has enough twists and turns to keep the reader up until the wee hours of the morning.”
—USA Today

Rocky Mountain News

—The Seattle Times

“A big, beautiful story of love, family, and second chances. Kristin Hannah has written the Must-Read Book of the Year!”
Author of Ain’t She Sweet?

“The phrase ‘page-turner’ is redefined. . . . A clean, deep thrust into the reader’s heart . . . Unfolds tenderly and with suspense . . . In Hannah’s world, nothing can be taken for granted and triumph must be earned, with hard work, truthful reckoning, and tears.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Brimming with the kinds of emotions that tug at the heartstrings . . . Hannah’s writing is all her romance fans have come to expect. It is as rich as the fertile Pacific Northwest rain forest she writes about and as soft around the edges as the fog on Mystic Lake.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

On Mystic Lake not only touches the heart, it helps redefine women’s fiction for a new generation of readers. A haunting, evocative tale of love lost and found. A glowing, deeply felt tribute to the triumphant possibilities of self-discovery, personal growth, and change.”


“Hannah is observant and can turn a phrase. . . . [She] is superb at delving into her main characters’ psyches and delineating nuances of feeling. . . . I’m sure there isn’t a woman over the age of thirty-five who couldn’t identify with Annie’s sense of loss and abandonment, or share in her triumph as she regains her self-confidence and an identity separate from that of wife and mother. These jaded eyes actually got misty at the passages in which six-year-old Izzy implores her dead mother’s spirit to wait for her, my skin crawled along with Nick’s as he jitters through the early stages of his recovery, and I even felt compassion for the inability of Blake the cad to care about anyone but himself.”
The Washington Post Book World

On Mystic Lake is rich and dark, ripe with dense, smoky emotion, yet ultimately sweet at heart. . . . [The novel] is sentimental in the best sense, and like many of Hannah’s earlier books, cathartic. She can make you cry, and in the end, offer a quiet resolution based on real growth.”
Contra-Costa Times

“A beautiful novel, heartbreaking and tender . . . Hannah writes of love with compassion and conviction, her characters so alive and dear you can’t bear to see the novel end.”


“Kristin Hannah breaks new ground in her powerful exploration of a woman rediscovering herself in On Mystic Lake. . . . Hannah has a signature talent for drawing deep into the hearts of her story’s characters. These are real problems, and Hannah is a master portrayer of the human spirit. On Mystic Lake is too good to share—so buy extras!”

“A shining triumph that is not to be missed . . . Hauntingly beautiful and richly emotional.”
Romantic Times

“An extremely satisfying, insightful, and emotional tale. Fans of La Vyrle Spencer will certainly enjoy this moving book.”

“Highly recommended . . . Fans of Anne Rivers Siddons will devour this.”
Library Journal

Kristin Hannah
“writes of love with compassion and conviction.”
Author of Home Fires

“Remember the last time you finished a fabulous book and made your best friend read it? Get ready to feel that way again.”
Author of Dream a Little Dream

Read More

Product Details

Cengage Gale
Publication date:
Large Print Book Series
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.23(d)

Read an Excerpt

Rain fell like tiny silver teardrops from the tired sky. Somewhere behind a bank of clouds lay the sun, too weak to cast a shadow on the ground below.

It was March, the doldrums of the year, still and quiet and gray, but the wind had already begun to warm, bringing with it the promise of spring. Trees that only last week had been naked and brittle seemed to have grown six inches over the span of a single, moonless night, and sometimes, if the sunlight hit a limb just so, you could see the red bud of new life stirring at the tips of the crackly brown bark. Any day, the hills behind Malibu would blossom, and for a few short weeks this would be the prettiest place on Earth.

Like the plants and animals, the children of Southern California sensed the coming of the sun. They had begun to dream of ice cream and Popsicles and last year's cutoffs. Even determined city dwellers, who lived in glass and concrete high-rises in places with pretentious names like Century City, found themselves veering into the nursery aisles of their local supermarkets. Small, potted geraniums began appearing in the metal shopping carts, alongside the sun-dried tomatoes and the bottles of Evian water.

For nineteen years, Annie Colwater had awaited spring with the breathless anticipation of a young girl at her first dance. She ordered bulbs from distant lands and shopped for hand-painted ceramic pots to hold her favorite annuals.

But now, all she felt was dread, and a vague, formless panic. After today, nothing in her well-ordered life would remain the same, and she was not a woman who liked the sharp, jagged edges of change. She preferred things to run smoothly, down the middle of theroad. That was where she felt safest--in the center of the ordinary, with her family gathered close around her.


These were the roles that defined her, that gave her life meaning. It was what she'd always been, and now, as she warily approached her fortieth birthday, it was all she could remember ever wanting to be. She had gotten married right after college and been pregnant within that same year. Her husband and daughter were her anchors; without Blake and Natalie, she had often thought that she might float out to sea, a ship without captain or destination.

But what did a mother do when her only child left home?

Read More

What People are saying about this

Tami Hoag
A luminescent story about the rediscovery of self and of love and the healing power of both. -- Author of A Thin Dark Line
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
A big, beautiful story of love, family, and second chances.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >