The Lake of Dreams Paperback – 16 Feb 2012
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An absorbing, perceptive and moving tale that fans of The Memory Keeper's Daughter will lap up (Daily Mail)
Beautifully plotted and breathtakingly accomplished (Daily Express)
An emotional novel with lyrical touches (Sunday Times)
A powerful saga (Good Housekeeping)
An epic of discovery and deception (She)
A page-turner (Red)
About the Author
Kim Edwards is the author of the The Memory Keeper's Daughter and a collection of short stories, The Secrets of a Fire King. Her honors include the Whiting Award and the Nelson Algren Award, as well as the Kentucky Literary Award, a National Magazine Award, and a grant from the NEA.She is Associate Professor of English at the University of Kentucky.
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I was irrationally irritated by the author's unsubtle reference to her own book (The Memory Keepers Daughter) - being read, and commented on, by Lucy's mother (page 142 in my copy).
Overall I did enjoy it. It compares unfavourably to The Memory Kepers Daughter, but still makes for a good holiday read.
I really warmed to the main character, Lucy, and I was very interested in what she was going to dicover. The story centres around some objects she finds in her family home and the story of one particular lady. We are introduced to the contraversial world of women's rights in the early 20th century.
Unfortunately as I got about half way through I found myself becoming increasingly bored. The secret is dragged out over pages of endless (and pointless) description. We are also introduced to so many characters I began to forget who was who and found the family tree in the back next to useless. Also there are many elements to the story, which distracted me from the main focus.
I can only give this 3 stars because by the end I couldn't have cared less about any of the characters. The writing is good but it is not enough to save it.
I don't particularly like Lucy, either. She seems rather passive-agressive, "accidentally" letting other people's secrets slip out a couple of times, and casually saying pointed, hurtful things about her mother's new love-interest. She also, equally casually, commits infidelity and vandalism. She doesn't take responsibility for this, oopsing her way through life. She's not a likeable character, but nor is she fascinatingly flawed and complicated. So I didn't enjoy reading about her.
Another considerably egotistical thing is that the author seems to slip in a reference to her own first novel, on page 142- 'She had been reading a novel, and when I came in she put the paperback facedown on the arm of her chair; I glimpsed an ethereal baby dress against a background of black [...] "Good book?" "I just started, but it's compelling so far." ' I found that rather distasteful.
The book did get a bit better after the incredibly dull first half, but it was never thrilling. I personally found the wishy-washy sentimental spiritualism offputting, though new age or religious types may like it, but it was not for me.
Essentially it's a story about a genealogy search after the protagonist, Lucy, finds some unusual items in her family home. The search takes the majority of the book and although Lucy reveals some interesting family secrets I felt it was never really fully explored and it all culminated very quickly and resolved in a few pages.
There was a lot of potential in the links to women's rights in the early part of the twentieth century but I didn't think the author really made the most of what could have been really interesting material. There are also themes of Inuit rights, environmental issues, land rights and family relationships but I think that the author just attempts to get too much in and never really deals with any of the themes thoroughly enough.
Note that there is a family tree at the back of the book - I only found it at the end when it was useless to me!
All-in-all a nicely written book that didn't get to grips with any of the themes it covered and left me feeling less than satisfied. Not one I would really recommend to my reader friends.
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