Tuesday, October 20, 2015

tlh The Lake House by Kate Morton | Rating: ★★★★★

The Lake House is quite satisfying and well suited for people who love nothing more than to curl up on a chilly night with a good novel in the autumn and winter season. I thrive in this season when it comes to reading and Kate Morton’s latest release fits the bill perfectly.

Add one hot beverage, one cozy blanket and this novel for the perfect night in.

With alternating time frames and narration, all spanning across decades, it keeps readers guessing and most importantly feeling; from the moment you read its blurb, you’re captivated in a way that only a good story can manage. I daresay this little gem has earned its place amongst my favorite works of fiction and that there is no other novel this year more deserving.

Needless to say, it’s easy to fall into the pages of The Lake House and absolutely is something special. That’s a word you’ll find me using frequently in my review: special. Even better, the way each story is weaved together and solved is remarkably beautiful and mysterious. It’s heart warming, it’s satisfying.

And surely it will bring in a crowd of new and eager fans for Kate Morton. If ever there were a time to dip your toes into Kate Morton’s releases, it is now. This autumn, if you are looking for a treat for yourself, The Lake House should be at the top of your list.


With writing so poetic and gorgeously descriptive, delightful and thrilling in all ways, and her characters so richly alive with complex layers, and a mystery bouncing between the decades, you’ve got enough to draw you in instantly.

In the case of The Lake House, readers can expect to add an event blurring the lines between generations and tying them together tightly by stories end; it’s easy to see why her work is so beloved and why it was amongst some of the most anticipated reads of 2015.

Kate Morton has a gift for breathing life into the world and allowing readers to spy pieces fall together in the perfect pace. And everything Morton writes in the story–between the lines and through its plots–is mysterious, charming and it represents something delectable in many ways.

Yes, the way in which plots and unfold is perfect for readers in the autumn.

Because of its switches in narrations, we see many views of the power of human emotions (bravery, love, betrayal, loss, heartache, etc) and just how it effects everyone. There’s nothing more pleasing than getting to know a batch of characters and in this novel, readers are gifted with that feeling throughout its pages.

I think that’s the most important thing about The Lake House; it showcases the past and the present and holds us emotionally until the very end. It explored human nature perfectly, the fierce protectiveness between a mother and her children, the remains of war and of loss. Kate Morton spins us a tale of heartbreak in the form of a breathtakingly beautiful story that keeps us on our toes.

I found myself a little put off at times by characters only to find myself rooting for them in a variety of ways. It’s what made them all undeniably human. Because that is whats so damn striking about Morton’s characters–they are developed so beautifully.

Yes, I am quite attached to them and yes, I wanted closure so badly for the surviving family members when it came to the decades old cold case of what happened to little baby Theo. Alice, the middle daughter of the family in question and elder sister of Theo, is cold in some ways, warm in others, and I was very intrigued by her and just how similar she is to her mother, Eleanor.

Both women are very complex and realistic in their actions and vulnerability which is what makes them so fascinating. There are many parallels between mother and daughter, and it made discovering the truth all the more fascinating. I loved them both and their determination, their bravery, and so on and so forth.

I liked seeing Alice develop in her gift of writing and how, with decades that have passed, she became something of an iconic author. We get to see glimpses of time through her memories; from when she was a girl and before Theo went missing, all the way to 2003.

It felt intimate and special to follow them all from start to finish. I felt like I was watching them grow and getting to know them on such a personal level was a privilege. I liked hearing how Eleanor met and fell in love with Anthony, and then how split in two she grew to feel as Anthony struggled with a past from war.

So let’s just be clear on Eleanor and Anthony’s relationship: they were both fiercely protective of each other and their family and I couldn’t get enough of that. In later years, their marriage was flawed quite a lot but the two loved one another so passionately they often took care of one another.

I thought it was beautiful and although Eleanor did some things that were less than desirable, I don’t want to spoil it, I enjoyed getting to know her the most. She was very intriguing.

The other character we get to know is Sadie; a police officer with a great eye and gut instinct. She is staying with her grandfather during a break from work, where a case of a missing mother had consumed her so thoroughly.

She reminded me quite a lot of both Eleanor and Alice and it was fun seeing her discover Alice’s writing and of course the mystery of Theo’s case as well as the discovery of the lake house. Her interest in the case was sparked by chance, really, but more so of fate than anything.

All in all, when she dives deeper into the cold case, it was satisfying watching her tie the pieces together and then the teamwork put in by Alice and Alice’s assistant, Peter.

I enjoyed seeing the shadows of her past linger in her mind and her heart–the Bailey case; her hunch of foul play, which proved to be correct, the relationship with her grandfather Bertie as well as the child she’d put up for adoption years and years ago when she was young. As were Alice and Eleanor before her, Sadie is a complex and intriguing voice.

I know, I know, my review is a bit muddled and ramble inducing but the things is The Lake House is an experience. I can’t tell you much without unraveling every little bit of the mystery. I loved the conclusion, how things tied together, finding out what happened to Theo and of course what really happened with the Bailey case. I liked the final time jump at the end, a year after things were solved, and the theme of family.

It’s truly an experience of events unraveling through the decades and connecting lives that I can’t explain thoroughly without spoiling many plot twists. And I don’t want to do that to you, readers, because the novel is something you must read on your own to truly feel how grand and unexpected it is.

But I will say two things:

None of it managed to go the way I expected it to and that’s what made it so fun to read. Both cases received closure in a way, some happier than others, and it was so fascinating and special seeing it wrap up the way it did.

The Lake House is by far one of the most beautiful and special novels I’ve read in recent times and I can’t get enough of it. It’s the sort of story you wish to savor and curl up with. It is the sort of story you don’t let go of, not really, because it sticks with you. I’ll remember this story the rest of my life, really.

Yes, it’s that good.

It’s beyond good–it’s brilliant. And for my end of the year giveaway, I expect this will be one of the books I plan to include, as it has been my favorite this year.

**As a note, I forgot to add at the start of my review, that I was sent a physical galley of this novel in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. This in no way effects my thoughts.

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