Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Viking (16 Feb 2012)
The darkest secrets are the ones we hide from ourselves…
Ten years ago, traumatized by her father’s death, Lucy left her home and her country. Now, she returns to her family’s rambling lakeside home to lay old ghosts to rest.
However, sleepless one night, she makes a momentous discovery. Locked in a moonlit window seat is a collection of family heirlooms – objects whose secrets no one was ever supposed to find. Piecing together her family’s true history, she realises that the story she has always been told was a fiction. And the more she uncovers, the more Lucy comes to question her own life choices – including why it is that her first lover, Keegan Fall, has never left her heart . . .
Mesmerizing and haunting, The Lake of Dreams is a startling story of family secrets and lies, lost love and redemption, and of the many pieces and puzzles that make up a life.
The Lake of Dreams is one of my recent purchases. I have to admit I was attracted to the cover (colour, butterfly) on the shelf and after reading the blurb, was hooked in by the family history aspect.
The story begins with a prologue that is narrated in the third person. The year is 1910 and it is the evening of the comet. It has taken all day to seal the house so that no vapours can get into the house and poison the inhabitants. The window is opened and after a deep breath, realising she’s fine, she jumps out after hearing her brothers voice and one other … the other that makes her yearn but also feel anger.
Then the reader finds themselves in 2006. Lucy Jarrett, is living in Japan with partner Yoshi. She has had a dream … the same dream she’s been having over the past week. The dream is linked to the lake where she grew up and this leads on to her father’s death and the part she feels she played in his death. At home, her mother has a car accident that although isn’t serious, leads to her going back home and a journey of discovery – not only about her family and the generations before, but also self-discovery.
I’ve been totally absorbed in Lucy’s journey. Narrated in the first person it is easy to identify with her and become the story. The discovery she makes leads on to other finds and eventually, re-claiming a part of the family history that is still relevant to those living today. In the background all the time is Lucy not fitting into the changes in her own family and her feelings for her first love Keegan. Having left for college almost immediately after her father’s death and a host of interesting jobs in different countries she hasn’t stood still long enough to come to terms with her own feelings.
At times Lucy comes across as being obsessed with the family history she finds but I can attest personally that this is exactly what happens. You just have to keep going to see where the thread leads!
I loved the feminine principle in the story both on a spiritual level and historically with the suffragettes.
Usually, with two male leads in a story, one has an advantage over the other. In The Lake of Dreams the advantage isn’t in social standing, career or personality. Both Yoshi and Keegan have ‘balanced’ personalities and either of them would have been suitable for Lucy. I did think with Yoshi in Japan for most of the story, this would give Keegan the advantage of being from a similar background to Lucy and being there. I must admit to feeling a little disappointed at the choices she made (even though they were exactly right for her)!
I had been so caught up in Lucy’s healing journey and the family history aspect that when the big reveal came I was totally surprised. The timing was perfect and the resolution felt exactly right.
The epilogue makes the reader feel satisfied that all is as it should be.
I can’t finish my review with saying something about the figurative language. It is beautiful. A lot of the story plays out beside nature/water and the description is such that the reader feels as if they are there, experiencing the same things.
I don’t think I’ve done the story justice! It really had the WOW factor for me. The Lake of Dreams has everything I require in a story and for this reason it’s a ‘keeper’ :
The Lake of Dreams is available to purchase from:
I’ve had the author’s The Memory Keeper’s Daughter on my bookshelf for ages. It’s time I dusted it off and moved it up the pile!