lostlakeReviewed by Meg Massey

Kate feels like she has been asleep for the past year, since her husband’s death. But she begins to wake up when her controlling mother-in-law wants Kate and her young daughter, Devin to move out of their home and in with her. While packing, Devin stumbles upon an old postcard from Kate’s great-aunt Eby, inviting her to visit Lost Lake, a resort camp that Eby owns. In a spur-of-the-moment decision, Kate packs up Devin and makes the four hour drive to Lost Lake, and essentially, back to her past.

When she and Devin arrive there, they find that Eby is in the midst of selling the property, and also spending a lot of time recalling memories from her past. Kate decides to stay and help when she learns that a group of Eby’s most faithful customers and friends are throwing a goodbye party for her. But will any of them want to leave when they come together and reminisce about their experiences at Lost Lake?

Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake is a beautiful tale that spans many years, traveling back and forth through time with ease. If you’ve ever spent time contemplating the decisions and actions of your past, you’re sure to relate to this novel. By way of flashbacks, we learn that Eby and Kate have endured a lot of pain in their respective pasts, from painful and stifling relationships with family to the unimaginable loss of loved ones. But by some miraculous chance, they both find Lost Lake, which serves as a place of restoration and rest for them both.

Allen creates lovable characters in the supporting cast of this novel. There’s Lisette, Eby’s silent but strong life-long friend, Selma, a powerful woman that’s been married seven times, and Wes, a man from Kate’s past with whom she reconnects at the camp. And while these characters aid in the healing of our two protagonists, I couldn’t help but be captivated by their own back stories, and the restoration that they find in their own lives thanks to Lost Lake and the friendships of Eby and Kate.

And while the ending of this novel may be predictable, it isn’t any less sweet thanks to the powerful writing of its author, and the resolution for its beloved characters.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.