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The Lake Of Dead Languages Paperback – 2 Jan 2003

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (2 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099435594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099435594
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Fulfilling... Miss Jean Brodie meets Donna Tartt... A good read, promising much for the future." (Daily Express)

" Goodman's New England gothic sets up a chilling atmosphere and a gruesome scenario very nicely indeed." (The Guardian)

"a very slinky little spine-chiller whose occasional forays into complete madness don't do too much harm." (Evening Standard)

"A gripping, well-written psychological thriller, rich in atmospheric detail." (Family Circle)

"A highly charged novel of suspense that will have you riveted to your chair." (Woman & Home)

Book Description

From the depths of the past, deadly secrets are unfolding...A gripping story of murder and secrets in the bestselling tradition of Donna Tartt's campus novel The Secret History and BAFTA award-winning film Dead Poet's Society.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
After reading through god know's how many recommended 'Chic Lit' books I was starting to think there were not any good books out there! This book however, changed my opinion. I found it so captivating and exciting that I really couldn't put it down. It's one of those books that fits so brilliantly together at the end, that you sit there going "Ooohhhh! I see....." The plot is very clever, and it's a real pleasure to find a book that is so beautifully written. If you liked this then I would also recommend Donna Tartt's 'The Secret History' to you.
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Format: Paperback
"Latin's a dead language,

As dead as dead can be.

It killed off all the Romans,

And now it's killing me."

The old rhyme seems to be coming true for Heart Lake School for Girls, and not for the first time.

Like every girl at Heart Lake, Jane Hudson had known the old legend of the three sisters, transformed into rocks in the lake, who lured the unsuspecting out to their death by drowning. In her senior year, her two roommates and the boy she secretly loves are drowned in the lake: suicide, or accident? The School blames their Latin teacher, the charismatic Helen Chambers; Jane thinks she knows the truth, which now lies at the bottom of the Lake.

After the birth of her daughter, and her separation from the father, Jane returns to Heart Lake to take up Helen's old post. When pages from her senior year journal, long thought lost, begin to appear amongst her students' assignments, and then one of her class is found having apparantly attempted suicide, it seems that events are repeating themselves, or at least, that someone wants to make it seem that way. Then her love's cousin, a man with his own strange link to Jane's past reappears. Is everything just adolescent hysteria, or is something more sinister happening?

I enjoyed this very much. Though there are obvious plot similarities with Donna Tartt's The Secret History, this is a much more emotional book, its insanity much closer to the surface. In particular, the change between schoolgirl Jane, weak, scared, insecure, and the more assured Jane who returns to Heart Lake is well done. The plotting is intricate if a little heavy-handed. I defy anyone not to see who the villain is by about half way through, though ultimately, this does not matter; the important transformation is Jane's discovery of the truth about her own past, and this is completely compelling.
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Format: Paperback
Jane Hudson has returned to Heart Lake – a girl’s school nestled cosily beside the waters of said lake – after 20 years to teach Latin. Many years ago, whilst studying there as a scholarship student under the charismatic Domina Chambers, a tragic series of events (the suicides of two roommates and her best-friend’s brother) occurred, that burnt themselves into the very fabric of Jane’s self, affecting who she is today. Now she’s back at the school, amidst the turbulent emotions of the teenage girls, struggling to cope with all the emergent memories, when, with horror she has to watch as the cathartic events of two decades ago appear to be recurring before her eyes…
This book is quite, quite amazing. I’ve not read a novel containing such rich, beautiful prose in a long while, with each word combining to form a fully realised almost tangible image, full of wonderful detail. Certainly, I’ve never come across a writer who can describe a lake in so many varied, and, quite frankly, once again beautiful, ways, with each new descriptions causing a bright smile of utter contentment to spread across my face, happy in the knowledge that our language can be used to evoke such wonder from a single image. The tone is, often, very claustrophobic and haunting, given the insular nature of the community in which the involving mysteries take place, and especially when concerning the eerie “three sisters”, - named thus due to an old myth surrounding the school - which are 3 stones which rise up out of Heart Lake, and seem to have some kind of mystical pull over the impressionable teenage girls of the school.
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By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read four or five of Carol Goodman's books and with each one I am struck with just how much I enjoy her writing style. Although writing in the present tense, at no stage does this seem awkward as it does with many authors. Her descriptions of people and places are both elegant and compelling.

This story is again set against the background of a girl's boarding school in the east of the United States, but north of New York, and the author clearly feels comfortable with this scenario as it is a recurring theme of her books. Also recurring are the parallels between different generations, although this tale perhaps lacks the supernatural overtones of others and is rather more of a crime mystery.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not one to rush through, and much better to take it steadily and enjoy the sheer quality of Carol Goodman's writing. It is a mystery to me why she is not much more widely appreciated in the UK.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The comparisons to the Secret History were inevitable given that it's a campus murder story with a bit of latin thrown in probably to encourage those comparisons but it's not as clever or well written as that and is trying a bit hard to be so. Having said that it is a very enjoyable thriller.
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