Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Review: "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards

Lucy Jarrett has always had a hard time staying in one place. Fleeing her upstate New York hometown, Lake of Dreams, to go to college right after her father's tragic accidental death, she has drifted from job to job, place to place, relationship to relationship. Living in Japan with her boyfriend, Yoshi, she starts feeling the same pangs of longing and dissatisfaction, so she jumps at the chance to return home and visit her family after her mother is in a minor car accident. But returning home, Lucy isn't happy to see how her family has moved on in the 10+ years since her father's death, and finds herself treading familiar hurts and frustrations, as well as reconnecting with Keegan Fall, her high school boyfriend.

One night, suffering from jet lag, Lucy picks the lock on an old window seat in her family home and finds a number of what appear to be old letters and historical documents. She begins to research her findings, and what she discovers is more than she bargained for—she finds a hidden secret in her family tree that has the potential for ripple effects into the present, and future. As Lucy tries to uncover more and more of the facts, she also must renegotiate her relationships, with her family, with Keegan, and with Yoshi.

I've always been a fan of stories of family dysfunction and family history, so this book grabbed me pretty quickly. And while the story itself was really interesting, and I really enjoyed the way Kim Edwards laid everything out, I had trouble warming up to Lucy's character until well into the book, and that made immersing myself in the story fully a bit difficult. But by the time I appreciated just how complex a character Lucy was, I found myself truly hooked. While perhaps not as memorable as Edwards' The Memory Keeper's Daughter, this book is definitely an affecting, emotional read.

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