An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
By: Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 10/20/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
A special THANK YOU, to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC exchange for an honest review.
C A P T I V A T I N G !
Master storyteller, Kate Morton returns following sensational The Secret Keeper, with THE LAKE HOUSE, an alluring Cornwall mysterious tale of dark family secrets.
An enthralling suspense drawing you into a multi-generational, layered, unsolved 70-year-old mystery of intrigue-- combining past with present, with vivid descriptions and settings.
The stunning, idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, 1933--as the mysterious novel opens, someone is hiding evidence in the rain. Confession, too late. Who to tell, no one would forgive. It was done. The memories-will they follow? Nightmares of what happened.
Edevane family’s country house, Loeanneth; A midsummer party, Alice’s parents were famous for. Her mother had been a wreck all week, getting ready for the event. Midsummer Eve’s magic. Tonight she would be one of them. A night that was going to be extra special.
Three daughters Deborah, Alice and Clemmie, and their 11-month old son, Theo. Parents, Eleanor and Anthony, grandmother, Constance, and family friend, Mr. Llewellyn, and a staff of employees. A mother’s strong love for her children.
At age sixteen, Alice (Alice Cecilia Edevane) has always fancied herself a sleuth, bright, not shy, and inquisitive and loves to write stories. She was obsessed with Agatha Christie . . stories, puzzles, complex, twists, and events designed to mislead and bewilder readers. Crimes. Murder mysteries. She could write the perfect story. She was not as charming as her older sister, Deborah—she was a storyteller. Her dad was a journal-keeper too. She possessed special insights into other people’s state of mind. She was not a romantic, like her mom.
Their estate sat deep in a dell, surrounded by thick, briar-tangled woods, just like houses in fairy tales (later nightmares). This was her mother’s ancestral home. There would be hundreds of guests, dancing, music, foods, and magic.
She had a perfect title for her manuscript. All summer long she had working feverishly on a novel of passion and mystery. And there was the gardener, Benjamin Munro, twenty-six years old. It had been a year since she first laid eyes on him. Tall, dark, and handsome. She was in love.
However, before midnight strikes a tragedy occurs. The Edevanes discover that their youngest child, 11-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. Eleanor thinks Alice can help, after all she had the uncanny habit of being where she shouldn’t. She believes her son will be returned. Was he dead, suffering, or alive? Children do not just disappear. They go somewhere? Was he living a new life somewhere with a new family? No ransom note.
Secrets. Lies. Blame. Dreams. Guilt. Anger. Protecting. Addiction. Obsessions. Love. Regret. Betrayal. A Mother’s Love. Loyalty.
Flashing back and forth from past to present, Cornwall, 2003 –Constable Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in London is visiting in Cornwall at her grandfather’s cottage. While running one day, exploring she discovers the old abandoned estate, sparking her curiosity.
She digs into the background of the house, and learns of the baby boy’s mystery, long ago. She knows something terrible happened in that house. The Lake House part of a much larger estate, Loeanneth, originally the head gardener’s residence. She is obsessed with finding answers.
When she learns of the Edevane family and their house by the lake, and of the famous author, Alice, now about to publish her fiftieth book, she felt the singular thrill of two seemingly unconnected elements coming together.
Alice is living in London; a successful author. Theo’s case has never been solved. Alice was bored, and her current book was going badly. When Alice hears from Constable Sparrow about the missing child back in the 1930s, she knows it is not about the police procedures from her books.
Sadie presumed Alice would be thrilled to hear from her. Alice is a famous crime writer. She is a bona fide police detective willing to reopen, if only unofficially— the case of her brother’s disappearance? Who would take a child, choosing the son of a wealthy, upper-class family with all the possible resources at the fingertips to find him? However, she finds an older map from 1664 of The Lake House, there is a variation in the floorplan? Could this be a clue? What is the motive?
She begins to delve deeper into the 70-year-old Edevane case with help of the library and locals, and a retired cop who worked on the case previously. Across time, we hear from three generations of strong women: Eleanor, Alice, and Sadie.
Morton takes us back to London 1911, where we meet Eleanor, the last of the family line, marrying Anthony, after which Loeanneth was restored and retained for use as their country residence and their earlier life. Of course there was the war.
Everyone has secrets, assumptions. What did Clemmie see through the window, and who knew about Alice’s crush? Was Alice caught up in her own world, she had missed what was going on around her, so long ago? Who knows the real truth? Deborah?
Time is running out Alice is 86. Years of plotting novels had trained her mind to sift through information and make of it a narrative, and it had taken long to arrange the facts into linear form. There were gaps, and proof to fill and Alice needed the full picture. Fact versus fiction.
“So many pieces of the puzzle and everyone holding different fragments.“ And oh are there plenty of suspects, twist and turns, and Morton keeps you guessing until the end. Letters. Journals. More secrets. Confessions. Nothing is as it appears.
Spellbinding! You find yourself holding your breath for the next clue. If you have read Kate Morton previously, you know she is in a class all her own. She grabs you, and never lets go while you are transcended to another place and time—a perfect escape, while forgetting the present world. A mix of Gothic, historic, literary, mystery, romance, suspense, family drama, and thriller –all rolled into one engaging read.
I adore, Cornwall's rich heritage and dramatic landscape which have inspired writers since the 19th century--something alluring and mysterious about the England countryside and coastal areas. Amazing, today, the Cornish economy depends heavily on its tourist industry; quite interesting to view the deprivation and poverty at some levels. A big variation from poverty to prosperity; with some areas among the poorest in England; whereas, others rank among the top half in prosperity.
Fans of Diane Chamberlain and Sara Jio will enjoy THE LAKE HOUSE, and be drawn to the complex multi-layered saga. This stunning tale will linger long after the book ends – as always, Morton’s writing is STELLAR!