Review: Lost Lake

lost lakeTitle:  Lost Lake

Author:  Sarah Addison Allen

Genre:  Adult Fiction, Magical Realism

Pages:  296


From Goodreads:  From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a novel about heartbroken people finding hope at a magical place in Georgia called Lost Lake.

Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal. Kate spent one memorable childhood summer at Lost Lake, had her first almost-kiss at Lost Lake, and met a boy named Wes at Lost Lake. It was a place for dreaming. But Kate doesn’t believe in dreams anymore, and her Aunt Eby, Lost Lake’s owner, wants to sell the place and move on. Lost Lake’s magic is gone. As Kate discovers that time has a way of standing still at Lost Lake can she bring the cottages—and her heart—back to life? Because sometimes the things you love have a funny way of turning up again. And sometimes you never even know they were lost . . . until they are found.

What I thought:

“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.” 

I read Sarah Addison Allen’s debute novel, Garden Spells, shortly after it was released and fell in love with the author and her writing style.  I have since waited with anticipation for every book she has released.  While Garden Spells, will always be my favorite (yes, I have read it many, many times) all of her books are light, sweet reads with loveable, eccentric characters and a touch of magic.  I love to get lost in the worlds she creates.

Young widow, Kate Pheris, wakes up from her intense grief to discover she has lost a bit of herself.  In the year that she has been grieving the loss of her husband, she has given up control of her life and her daughter, Devin, to her take-charge mother-in-law, Cricket.  But when Devin finds an old postcard for Lost Lake, Kate remembers a summer she had spent there as a little girl and, on a whim, packs up for a road trip to Lost Lake with Devin only to learn, once they arrived, that her Aunt Eby, the owner of Lost Lake, has just decided to sell the property.

If you have ever read a book by Sarah Addison Allen, you will come to expect a cast of quirky characters and Lost Lake has them.  Lost Lake is home to Kate’s Aunt Eby and Lisette, her life-long friend and Lost Lake’s silent French cook.   Its visitors include a pair of eccentric ladies, Selma and Bulahdeen, who’s constant banter kept me smiling, Wes, the boy Kate had spent the summer with when she was a girl, and an alligator.

Lost Lake is about self-discovery, healing, forgiveness and hope. Lost Lake is about creating your own journey and then following that path.

“You can’t change where you come from, but you can change where you go from here.  Just like a book.  If you don’t like the ending, you can make up a new one.” 

saving kateBut before you read Lost Lake, you may want to read a short ‘prequel.’  Waking Kate is a very quick introduction to Kate, before her world was changed by grief.  This tiny little novella is only 38 pages and a free download on Kindle and Nook.


WWW Wednesday – April 2


WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of ShouldBeReading.  To play along, just answer three questions

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you will read next?


Currently I am reading:

lost lake


and still listening to:

raven boys

It was a slow reading week for me.  I just finished reading:

angel burn


You can read what I thought here.

Thanks to my Barnes & Noble ebook settlement I just bought:

out fo the easymiss peregrine

So I will most likely be reading one of these books.

Top Ten Tuesday  – My ‘Gateway’ Books. 


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is:  The Top Ten “Gateway” Books/Authors In My Reading Journey

My childhood (Books that turned me on to reading)

 Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.  I was given Charlotte’s Web when I was in first grade for Christmas.  I immediately began reading this book to my father, and then my mother, and then anyone who would listen to me.  It was the first book I remember reading ‘by myself’ which probably meant I partner read with the adults in my life.  But I was reading and I was proud!

charlottes web

Judy Bloom’s books  (Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing,  Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great and the rest of the Fudge Books)
fourth grade nothingsheila the great

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.  I absolutely loved these book!  I read them over and over and over again.  I wanted to ride Aslan!


High School and College Years

The Flowers in the Attic  Books by VC Andrews.  I don’t remember what my fascination was with this books but I read them all.

flowers attic

Stephen King    I loved reading pretty much anything he wrote but I think Pet Sematary and It were the ones that got me hooked.

it pet sematary

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice.  I got into these books in College and loved them.  Although once Lestat became a rock star, I kinda lost interest.  Rock star?  Really?

interview with the vampire

As an adult:  (Books that turned me on to different genres)

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowlings.  This was my first trip back into reading children/young adult books.  My kids were still too little for them when I started the series but I really enjoyed them.  I discovered magic and fantasy were fun reads as well.

Harry Potter

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers  Say what you will about this series, but I really enjoyed it.  It was my next step into YA Fantasy.


The Giver  by Lois Lowry and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins were the books that got me interested in reading Dystopian Fiction.

giverHunger games

Garden Spell by Sarah Addison Allen was my introduction to a genre with in adult fiction called Magical Realism.  I love it and have since read a few books in this category but Sarah Addison Allen has stayed my favorite author in this genre and Garden Spells is my favorite book that she has written.

garden splls


It’s Monday, What are you reading? 3/24/14

its monday

It’s Monday, what are you reading is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.

Last week I finished:

glass casket


This week I’m reading:

angel burn

raven boys

Next up?  I’m not sure…  Maybe:

lost lake

Or Maybe

out fo the easy

Or maybe even something else…

It’s Monday, What are you reading?

its monday

its monday kids

As I go about learning this blogging thing, I thought I might take part in a couple memes that I keep seeing everywhere.  These may change as I figure out what works for me, but for today:  It’s Monday, What are you reading.  This is a weekly meme hosted by BookJourney and for the meme for Children’s books is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.

Finished Last Week

before I fall

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  I had mixed feelings on this one.  However, the topic of bullying is a tough one to tackle and I thought Oliver did a great job.  And I enjoy her writing.  My review is here.

Other Reviews this Week

the graveyard book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  I loved this one.  I thought it was a fabulous read.  I loved the characters and the magic and whimsy mixed into the macabre and creepy.  Great one to share with your middle schooler and up!

Currently Reading

glass casket

The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman.  I picked this book up from the library without knowing anything about it because I liked the cover and the title intrigued me.   I’m almost halfway through this book.   It started out slow but has really picked up its pace.  It reminds me of a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood at this point. Planning on curling up with this book later this afternoon.


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.  I just started listening to this book yesterday.  I loved Delirium so I am really looking forward to getting into this part of Lena’s story.

Next Up

angel burn

city of ashes

raven boys

We homeschool and all three of my children are avid readers as well.  Here is what they are reading!

Nathan, 15, Freshman

great expectationsThe OdyssyWesley

Madison, 12, 7th Grade

The Hiding PlaceTHe HobbitUnited we spy

Carson, 10, 5th Grade

Dragons gate234033_Sch_OutofDust_2.99_0.tifThe call

Review – Blackberry Winter

Title:  Blackberry Winter       blackberry winter
Author:  Sarah Jio
Genre:  Adult Fiction
Pages: 290

(From Goodreads) In 2011, Sarah Jio burst onto the fiction scene with two sensational novels–The Violets of March and The Bungalow. With Blackberry Winter–taking its title from a late-season, cold-weather phenomenon–Jio continues her rich exploration of the ways personal connections can transcend the boundaries of time.
Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator’s.
Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways…

What I thought:

This book alternates between two stories that take place some eighty years apart in Seattle, Washington.  Vera is a single mother, struggling to make ends meet in 1933;  Claire is a young married journalist living in modern day Seattle.  Claire wakes up on May 1st to a layer of snow covering the city a phenomenon known as a “Blackberry Winter.”  In fact, the last Blackberry Winter to come to Seattle had been on May 1, 1933, when Vera came home from her overnight job at a hotel to find her three year old son missing from their apartment.

Sarah Jio does a wonderful job of telling these women’s stories.   My heart was broken for Vera and her tragedy.  As a mother myself, I couldn’t even begin to imagine her pain.  Like Claire, I wanted to learn what had happened to little Daniel the night of the May Snow.  However Claire had struggles and heartaches of her own.

“Blackberry Winter” has a little bit of everything.  A little mystery.  A little historical fiction.  A little suspense.  A little romance.  I read this one in two sittings with a box of tissues close at hand.   I am looking forward to reading more by Sarah Jio.

Thunderstorms and Late Night Reading

Thunderstorms and a terrified Maltese shook me awake at 4:30 this morning.  Once he found that I was awake, he climbed up on my pillow, buried himself under my chin and trembled so hard I thought he might fall apart!  Clearly going back to sleep before the storm ended wasn’t going to happen.


So I did what I always do when I have an unfilled stretch of time…  I read.   Not wanting to get deeply engrossed in the book I’m currently reading and end up not going back to sleep the rest of the night, I downloaded a free selection onto the nook app on my phone.  “Waking Kate” by Sarah Addison Allen is a free download for both nook and kindle but I’m not even sure what to call it.  At only thirty eight pages it isn’t even a novella but was the perfect length to fill the short period of time until the thunder ended.   “Waking Kate” is a teaser for her newest book “Lost Lake.”  Which, after reading this short prequel during the wee hours of the morning,  I have added to my must read list!  Of course I would read pretty much anything by this author!

saving kate          lost lake