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The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

The Lake of Dead Languages (2002)

by Carol Goodman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,589586,731 (3.69)82
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    Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (dmenon90)
    dmenon90: Boarding school, buried history, disturbed protagonist, a whodunit-type narrative, layered story with themes of adolescent longing and yearning, cliques and betrayals.
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    The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook (amyblue)

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» See also 82 mentions

English (56)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This book is quite the page turner. Set at an all girls boarding school, this mystery novel weaves together a scintillating portrait of teenage angst and gothic romanticism. Told through the lens of main character Jane Hudson, one is able to experience Jane's world as a naive adolescent and as a single mother rediscovering herself while forcing her to re-examine her past. ( )
  Amberlee1208 | Sep 20, 2017 |
While not a perfect book (the conclusions to the various mysteries became somewhat transparent as the book came to a close), I enjoyed the pace and tone of the book. There was an almost "otherness", a dream-like quality the events and main characters, which jarred (in a good way) with the realism of the minor characters and the setting. Even though I had personally correctly solved all of the mysteries before they were concluded, I still wanted to know how everything worked out in the end. I love unreliable narrators, so that was a huge plus for this book for me. The final "twist" was a bit over the top, but I didn't feel as if detracted from the other good parts of the story. ( )
  majesdane | Aug 8, 2017 |
Twenty years after her graduation from the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks, Jane Hudson returns as a Latin instructor following a separation from her husband. Having buried the trauma and secrets surrounding the suicides of three friends during her time as a student, Jane hopes for a fresh start for herself and her young daughter. However, the school year takes a dark turn as the events taking place seem suspiciously similar to those of the past and girls begin dying again. A deliciously Gothic mystery with a somewhat predictable ending, but plenty of suspense, mythology, and Latin to make up for its shortcomings. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
I've read Goodman's The Ghost Orchid: A Novel, and found it a fun and fluffy read, much like The Ghost Orchid.

The tale is kind of gothic, old girl's live-in school. Some tragic events. The return of one of the former graduates. More tragic events. And lots of Latin.

I read it in two days. (I didn't do anything this weekend but read that book.) It was a fun who's doing what kind of book. But it's a bit cliche and somewhat easy to figure out when you've been given your first clue.

I bought it for $2 at a book sale. I don't think it was a waste of dollars especially since I had wanted to read it. It was a good light follow up to The Godfather. ( )
  wendithegray | May 1, 2017 |
Fantastic. Beautiful prose and a clear plot that kept the pages turning. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carol Goodmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lodewijk, AnnemarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother, Margaret Goodman, and in memory of my father, Walter Goodman 1924-1999
First words
The lake in my dreams is always frozen. It is never the lake in summer, its water stained black by the shadows of pine trees, or the lake in fall, its surface stitched into a quilt of red and gold, or the lake on a spring night, beaded with moonlight. The lake in my dreams reflects nothing; it is the dead white of a closed door, sealed by ice that reaches sixty feet down to the lake's glacial limestone cradle.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 034548715X, Mass Market Paperback)

Penzler Pick, February 2002: It has been 20 years since Jane Hudson graduated from Heart Lake School in the Adirondacks. After marrying, having a child, and separating from her husband, she returns to her old, all-girls school to teach Latin.

Heart Lake, like many schools, has its legends, the most persistent being that the lake claims the lives of students. All three daughters of the founder of the school were drowned in it, and while the bodies were never found, it is said that three rocks rose out of the water to lure young girls to their doom. Jane is more than aware of this legend. When she was at school, two of her contemporaries drowned in the lake, and Jane has always felt that it was looking for a third victim--herself.

While she does not discuss this with her students, she is aware that they know of the legend. Her three most promising students room together, are close to each other, and look on Jane as their special teacher, a situation that mirrors Jane's experience as a student. But soon Jane is into a routine, has renewed her acquaintance with teachers, now colleagues, who are still at Heart Lake, and has met other teachers new to her.

But when a portion of her journal is left for her to see, Jane is puzzled. She has not seen the journal since she left school. Then one of her students almost drowns in what appears to be a suicide attempt, and Jane realizes that the nightmare she lived through at school may be recurring.

Jane tries to piece together what really happened in her school days and what is happening now. As a young girl, Jane was poor and managed to get to Heart Lake because she won a scholarship. She was befriended by the charismatic Lucy and her brother Matt, and it is with Lucy that she roomed, together with Deirdre. The three girls bonded with their Latin teacher, Helen Chambers. As we learn more about Jane's school days and contrast it with what is happening 20 years later, it becomes obvious that history is repeating itself--or someone is trying to make it seem that way.

While it takes a while for the pieces to fall into place, this compelling first novel is as much about the charged atmosphere of adolescents and their new and sometimes dangerous emotions as it is about what exactly is happening at Heart Lake School and why. You will want to know the answers. --Otto Penzler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:53 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Returning to the Heart Lake School for Girls as a Latin teacher to start a new life with her daughter, Jane is haunted by past tragedy and terrifying memories when she begins receiving menacing messages.

» see all 3 descriptions

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