This was one of my MOST anticipated books of the year! My Morton ladies and I couldn’t stop flailing about it on twitter and via text, and The Lake House more than lived up to the wait.
Kate Morton is an auto-buy author for me. Her style is so consistently excellent that it’s more a matter of ranking her books from most favorite to still excellent, rather than least favorite. I love that you know what you’re getting when you read a Kate Morton book on one hand (a suspenseful dual timeline mystery, intricate plotting, lush historical setting, lots of secrets and twists, tragic relationships) but that they feel unique and surprising at the same time. She has an exquisite way with words, of capturing feelings and emotions and of doling out the right helping of intrigue at the right time, and her books stay with you long after you’ve read them.
The Lake House was not my favorite Morton book- for whatever reason I didn’t connect as much with Sadie and her story, which is why it’s not a perfect 5 for me. Sadie felt distant and reserved. But I adored the past storyline, both on its own and how it tied in with the present. And Alice was really interesting; all her authorial writing advice felt very meta! There were actually a few narrators, which was also different from other Morton books. I thought I had the characters pegged and then they would go and surprise me. I particularly fell in love with Eleanor and the many facets of her personality. I also enjoyed the lushness of the English countryside life between the wars. I felt like I was there in the manicured gardens and the charming Lake House, overhearing adult conversations in the stifling boathouse with my heart racing the entire time! It was just as easy to imagine the layers of dust and time in the crumbling house once Sadie stumbled upon it.
The mystery of the 1930’s storyline, both how it tied into the parallel story and how it actually unfolded was heartbreaking and fabulous. Very compelling and hard to pin down. Just when you think the twist is going one way, she U-turns and heads the other direction!
It never feels trite or manipulative either; the intricacies of her plotting and reveals are second to none. The end did feel a bit more saccharine than some of her other books but it was satisfying in its own way. You’ll definitely want to get swept away by The Lake House this fall!
The Lake House by Kate Morton
Published by Atria Books
Pub Date: 20 October 2015
Format: eARC | Source: NetGalley
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Historical, Women’s Fiction
Buy the book! | Goodreads
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.