In the tradition of the lush, historical dramas of Kate Morton, Philippa Gregory and Barbara Erskine, USA TODAY bestselling author Nicola Cornick's The Woman in the Lake is a delicious tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge that spans the generations between decadent Georgian society and present day.
Discover why Publishers Weekly calls Nicola Cornick "a rising star"—watch for The Woman in the Lake, coming soon from Graydon House.
|Publisher:||Graydon House Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book opens with a unique voice. To set up the multi-narrator format, Nicola Cornick introduces multiple characters. However, instead of simply using the different characters to advance the plot, she as different characters retell the same moments and the same space of time. This only really happens in the beginning, but it’s incredibly powerful. I could understand each character so much more deeply by seeing how they felt in what were the same exchanges. This style helped shape the characters in a way that describing them could not have achieved. I now understood why the servant felt resentment during an exchange, but from the Lady’s POV, she seemed reasonable and sympathetic. Further proving the point that the majority of communication is nonverbal, and why it’s so important as an author to be good at both dialogue and descriptions. Without spoiling too much, the ending was wonderfully and deliciously satisfying. After the events that take place in the book, the author gave a perfect conclusion that was neither corny nor disappointing. As for the mystery plots, I was constantly guessing and didn’t want to stop reading until I figured everything out. Tidbits of information were sporadically provided, which generated just enough interest without giving any real answers. My only criticism, and this is a pet peeve of mine, were the realistic descriptions. At one point a character gets on a train and is described as smelling of stale sweat. Now, I know that smell. I get it. When someone sits next to you on a train after they have hurried to make it, the body odor is noticeable but usually (hopefully) temporary. But when I’m reading, and that description is used, I am instantly taken out of the fictional world. Some people think this makes a story more realistic. I’m just not one of those people. All I could think about was the smell of the guy and how much I would want to get out of there, but this was a major plot point and the characters needed to have a longer conversation, so I just had to get through it. Maybe this means I need to be a little less intense about my reading, or find authors that don’t create such great scenes that I get engrossed in them? To sum up, I loved this book. I loved the cover. I loved the story. And as it turns out, I loved the author. Unbeknownst to me, I have read another Nicola Cornick book. I didn’t realize it until I was writing this review and thinking of books to compare it to. I thought of a book called The Phantom Tree, and discovered that it not was only written by the same author, but #2 of this series. Needless to say, I have added the first book to my TBR. Each book in this series is a stand-a-lone read, but dual time traveling is used as a series theme. Awesome concept with great execution.
I love Nicola Cornick's books. They never disappoint. From the bestselling author of House of Shadows and The Phantom Tree comes a spellbinding tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge—part history, part mystery—for fans of Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley and Barbara Erskine. This one definitely will keep you turning page after page and on the edge of your seat. A very good historical mystery. 5 stars all the way for it.
I have mentioned in past posts that I am a fan of historical fiction. I don’t read it often because I am afraid of getting burnt out. I am also a mystery/thriller fan. I like reading a mystery/thriller and trying to guess what is going on. So, when there are those two genres thrown together, I will pick it up. That’s what happened with The Woman in the Lake. I saw it, read the blurb and got it. The Woman in the Lake was a bit different than some of the other mystery/thriller books that I have read in the past. Those differences actually made me like the book more. The first difference is that the book went back and forth between 1st person and 3rd person. I usually dislike it when a book does that. The storyline gets lost between the constant back and forth. Not in this book. The author makes it clear when the POV changes. It made that part of reading the book pleasurable for me. The second difference is that there are 3 separate storylines. Again, something that would drive me nuts. Like the POV changes, the author handled the 3 storylines wonderfully. Lady Gerard and Constance’s storyline was intertwined. The author was able to keep them separate until the pivotal scene towards the end of the book. It was wonderfully written. I loved the characters. There were layers to them. I loved that when one layer was peeled back, another was revealed. This kept up until the end. The historical fiction angle of the book was wonderfully written as well. It was set in Gregorian England. The author did a fantastic job of describing everyday life in that era. She also did a fantastic job of portraying how women were treated. Lady Gerard was beaten by Lord Gerard. Everyone turned a blind eye to it. Constance was sold to Lord Gerard and forced to be Lady Gerard’s maid. She was treated like she was invisible. Which was all part of being part of a servant and catering to the nobility. The mystery/thriller angle had me guessing also. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me on my toes with Fenella’s storyline. Was she going insane? Was she suffering a psychotic breakdown? How come she kept seeing Jake? What was she going to find out about the gown? I couldn’t get enough. The ending was fantastic. The author did a great job at bringing all 3 storylines together, merging them and ending the book. I was surprised at the twist that the author threw in at the end of the book. I didn’t see that coming!