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The Lake of Dreams

by Kim Edwards

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,0965714,767 (3.36)1 / 34
In this book, the author tells the story of a woman's homecoming, a family secret, and the old house that holds the key to the true legacy of a family. At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family's rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities. But soon they reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained glass windows throughout upstate New York, the family story she has always known is shattered. Lucy's quest for the truth reconfigures her family's history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely. With surprises at every turn, this is a saga in which every element emerges as a carefully place piece of the puzzle.… (more)
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English (56)  German (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Not as good as her 1st book but I would still recommend the title. ( )
  IngNorris | Oct 16, 2021 |
There was interesting comments about women trying to get their rights in the 1900s, nice descriptions of making glass windows and living by a lake but the whole book dragged through too many subplots to make it a good read. ( )
  kshydog | Dec 13, 2020 |
While I enjoyed MKD a lot years ago, I found this to be a distinctly different novel. So I don't think comparisons are necessary, or appropriate at all. Why on earth should an author's second novel be exactly like her first, in any way.....? Weird, the reviews I've seen around here.

This is a beautiful and moving story about how our history impacts both our future and our past. It's about how Art transcends time. And about love. As how Lucy searches the past for her lost family member, she then finds herself.

The characters are deep and well developed. I thought the story advanced at a good pace, and I was not bored at all. For a while, the basic plot seems like one you have read a dozen times before, but then the plot twists and the main character grows. I hated to put the book down as the writing by the author is so deep and descriptive. The story itself features multiple layers and symbolism and is easy to follow as history intwines with the present. The way the stories mirror each other is very well done. There are secrets revealed all the way up to the end, even when you think there are lose ends to tied up. The author clearly did tons of research on these subjects, and her varied interests create believable, relatable, lively and unexpected characters. This complex, multigenerational story also incorporates the present dilemmas of land use and water conservation. It is a celebration of Mother Earth, and all her creatures.

Woven into this story is the history of women's rights, and how hard they had to be fought for, sometimes with tooth and nail. And why we should not take them for granted, especially today. Women should remember what it was like before there were laws to our rights, for our own bodies. And we should take full advantage of our rights to vote to protect women in the future, instead of allowing them to be eroded.

Meanwhile, read this novel! Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did. And not pick it to death as others have done..... 5 stars.
( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Lucy is a bit down on her luck in Japan. She's lost her job recently and is a little aimless when she gets a call from home that he mother was injured. She discusses it with her boyfriend, Yoshi, and they decide that she should return to her family home in upstate New York to visit with and care for her mother. Lucy hasn't been back home since the sudden death of her father, which happened the summer before she left for college. Lucy has spent most of her life running from that terrible night, and the burden of guilt she's carried with her. Her father drowned in the lake that borders their house. He was night fishing and he asked Lucy to go with him. She refused and he never came back. This knowledge has haunted her and kept her busy all over the world.

When she returns to her home though, her life slows down and her past is all around her. Her mother's injury is incredibly minor, so she doesn't need any help from Lucy. Lucy discovers a sheaf of papers in a locked cabinet under a bench which leads her on a tantalizing mystery surrounding her family's past. She learns of a long-lost relative, a girl named Rose who was ostracized because of her suffragette interests. Along the way, she reconnects with her high school sweetheart. All these memories return to her and soon Lucy isn't sure where her life is leading. Is her future with the globe-trotting Yoshi, or back home with Keegan the glass-blower?

This book is steeped in saccharine nostalgia and severely lacking in character development. Lucy was a distasteful character who comes home to care for her injured mother but ends up berating her for contemplating selling her family's home and throws a fit because she's dating someone. Then she becomes spontaneously obsessed with uncovering her family's past. I mean, it's an interesting subject, there's just nothing in Lucy's character that would drive her to this. Why does she care so much about a history she's almost entirely left behind?

The so-called romance with her old boyfriend is also bizarre. He's got a young son, a failed marriage, and is giving demonstrations of glass-blowing in his hometown. And Lucy goes all doe-eyed and is like, "OMG, he's doing so well!" No he's not! What's the attraction exactly? They almost immediately start making out even though they both know Lucy is in a relationship. And then, just as abruptly, Lucy decides she doesn't want to be with him and Keegan just vanishes out of the novel. Predictably, Yoshi doesn't care that Lucy's been flirting and kissing underwater with her ex. He's just glad she "resolved" her past.

Add to that the bizarre confession of manslaughter from her uncle. All this time, Lucy thought it was her fault that her father died. I imagined that the climax of the book would be her realizing that it was a freak accident and it had nothing to do with her. Instead, she just finds someone else to blame. I guess her uncle and dad were fighting over a mysterious old will that was found in a wall. This whole "will in the wall" thing is never explained. Why anyone would hide an unfortunate will instead of just destroying it... is also not explained.

Anyhow, everyone just seems to accept that Lucy's uncle was there when her dad died and it was probably an accident. You know, one of those convenient accidents that happens to prevent someone from losing out on huge real estate holdings. Not suspicious at all. Noooooo.

Anyway, having resolved generations long family secrets, Lucy departs her home for Cambodia, fully ready to leave all of her past behind her again. She and Yoshi get married and have a girl. The end.

This book was like weaponized nostalgia. I didn't feel like the characters were well fleshed out. The characters from the past get the most play, as a number of letters are just recorded verbatim. Really not sure why the historical story needed this week, modern day frame narrative. I would much rather have read a book about Rose and Iris. OH WELL. ( )
  Juva | Jan 14, 2020 |
I really loved THE MEMORY KEEPER'S DAUGHTER and maybe I had my hopes up too much for this one by the same author. It was a good story, but dragged in parts. I read the paperback, which came out in 2011, and already some of the tech references are old, something to watch when writing a contemporary piece. Most of the mysteries were solved, but not the one about the stolen chalice, which got one vague line in the epilogue. (Don't worry, it's not a spoiler alert; didn't have much to do with the story anyway.) Overall, it's a nice summer read. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Jun 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
Her fans won't be disappointed with her second novel. Though a little long-winded and too heavily metaphorical at times, The Lake of Dreams is as enchanting as her first novel...Edwards' emphasis on metaphors and symbolism does slow the story down. Readers may also notice that the characters' dialogue tends to be overly long and detailed, so not always realistic. She also relies too heavily on coincidence and luck in her plot. But in the final analysis, this novel is a dream.

 
Kim Edwards has, in fact, done it again, riveting us to her story. And if one can take issue at all with the book, it would be a need to carp over the touches of political correctness that pervade each of her characters! This tendency in the author’s delineations does take from them a certain credibility. It tells us as well that Edwards, while a natural in the telling of a tale, has yet to learn that characters are wholly convincing when they act within a story’s limits and not by advertising their “green” credentials, “do-goodism” or socially-minded intentions. Nor, are “bad guys” necessarily defined by those who would change the landscape, build towering buildings, or profit by their enterprise..Even so, Edward’s The Lake of Dreams is a notable contribution and a worthy successor to her first novel.
 
Edwards’s pen has a wanderlust, a restlessness that propels the narrative from past to present and from New York City to England and Jakarta. The novel is rich in historical detail, clearly the fruit of decent research into early New York feminist circles...This is both a good and a bad thing. Though Edwards has a trademark ability to spin a good yarn, the plot often snags and drags as its distracting tangents multiply.....And while The Memory Keeper’s Daughter got page-turning power from a shocking premise, Edwards seems almost determined to keep her new tale from being too implausible. In the process, she has denied it some spark....
The Lake of Dreams is a kind of mystery novel of the self, about a woman caught in the undertow of history. It may not have the blockbuster potential of Edwards’s first book, but it grips in a quieter, gentler way.

 
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Voor mijn familie, vooral voor mijn ouders, John en Shirley
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Although it is nearly midnight, an unusual light slips through a crack in the wool, brushing her arm like the feathers of a wing.
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Ik heb kennis van alle, beide van verborgen en openbare dingen, want de wijsheid, die van alle dingen een kunstenares is, heeft ze mij geleerd.
Boek der Wijsheid 7:21
Een rechte lijnn heeft niets geheimzinnigs, Het geheimzinnige achuilt in de bol.
Thomas Mann, Joseph und seiner Brüder
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In this book, the author tells the story of a woman's homecoming, a family secret, and the old house that holds the key to the true legacy of a family. At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family's rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities. But soon they reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained glass windows throughout upstate New York, the family story she has always known is shattered. Lucy's quest for the truth reconfigures her family's history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely. With surprises at every turn, this is a saga in which every element emerges as a carefully place piece of the puzzle.

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Lucy Jarrett staat op een kruispunt in haar leven en besluit een tijdje terug te gaan naar haar geboortedorp. Eenmaal in het ouderlijk huis dringt de gedachte aan de raadselachtige dood van haar vader zich aan haar op. Ze voelt zich schuldig omdat ze hem alleen gelaten heeft op de avond waarop hij verdronk en vraagt zich af waarom hij eigenlijk ruzie had met zijn broer. Bij toeval ontdekt ze een verzameling spullen die haar familiegeschiedenis in een heel ander licht plaatsen. Als ook oude gevoelens voor haar jeugdliefde – een glasblazer – opflakkeren weet ze: het is tijd om schoon schip te maken. Een meeslepende roman waarin heden en verleden prachtig in elkaar overvloeien.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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