The Lake Of Dead Languages Paperback – 2 Jan 2003
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"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)
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous book- loved the plot twists. Not really a big fan of this genre of book, but read it, loved it and ended up buying copies for 3 friends, all of whom loved it as much as I... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nbk
First and foremost, do *not* read this book because you love Donna Tartt's The Secret History. That is a completely unfair (to all parties! Read morePublished on 15 Nov. 2013 by H Berryhill
I read this book recently and really enjoyed it. Carol Goodman has been able to draw on her own experiences as a Latin teacher when writing this book. Read morePublished on 17 Jan. 2012 by B. Robinson
I read this in 2 sittings and went ahead to buy other books by the author. Now, I'm not saying it perfect. Read morePublished on 17 Jun. 2010 by Amazon Customer
I read "The Ghost Orchid" before this and wish I had discovered Goodman's books in the order she wrote them. Read morePublished on 13 Jan. 2010 by Catherine Murphy
This felt so contrived. The author was clearly aiming for The Secret History but fell far short.Published on 4 Sept. 2009 by Sophia
I really liked the sound of this book but ultimately I was disappointed. I did enjoy the story and would heartily applaud Ms Goodman's plotting, but unfortunately I couldn't take... Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2009 by JM
I'm not sure why the reviews on the back page of this book are so lightweight - Family Circle, Woman and Home et al when the novel is so full of Latin Quotes, lines of poetry and... Read morePublished on 1 Jan. 2008 by Jane Baker
Im not going to go in to too much detail as others before me have already done this but I just wanted to say what a fantastic book this was! Read morePublished on 31 Dec. 2007 by Tracey Priest