Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

 Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

"Lisette took a deep breath and stood up.

When your cup is empty, you do not mourn what is gone.

Because if you do, you will miss the opportunity to fill it again."

Lost Lake is a story of changing endings. It is the journey of  a misfit bunch of summer visitors finding life and happiness again.

Each character is in a different stage of grief: fresh and raw; teeming from within, resting quietly for years within a heart; and accepting the course of life, ready to move on.

After losing her beloved husband years ago, Eby is ready to sell and move on from 40 years of running a shabby-chic vacation retreat. But then her niece Kate arrives, fresh off her grief of losing a husband and letting a mother-in-law take over. Eby has always experienced family as an endless need: for time, for money, for taking and not giving back. Until there's Kate.

As word slowly spreads that Lost Lake will be selling, the other characters arrive.

Selma, hesitant to use her last charm to snag her eighth husband; Bullahdeen, elderly, fiesty, and ready to fight for Lost Lake. Bullahdeen overcame her own projected path years ago when given paper and pen. Quiet Jack, desperate to finally claim the mute Lisette as his own. And Wes, who has been hiding a dark secret since his childhood summer sent by Kate's side, followed by the fire that destroyed his family and took his brother's life.

They will all come together in hopes of showing Eby what Lost Lake means to them. But Uncle Lazo already has his verbal agreement and lawyer on hand, is it too late to change Eby's mind?

There is magic woven into this book, as in all of Allen's stories.

"I taught literature for nearly forty years. The books I read when I was twenty completely changed when I read them when I was sixty-. You know why? Because the endings changed. After you finish a book, the story still goes on in your mind. You can never change the beginning. But you can always change the end. That's what's happening here."

This is Allen's first novel back after battling a breast cancer diagnosis last year and the personal growth and experience shows in her pages. I have read all of her novels, and awaited this new arrival patiently. Lost Lake has the wisdom of the ages, something that can only be written by someone who has lived a lifetime and has overcome a battle of their own. Allen is magic, and not just in her words, she adds a mysticism to her stories that is believable and engrossing. I can't wait to see what she does next.