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.

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Top Ten Tuesday  – My ‘Gateway’ Books. 

toptentuesday

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!

narnia

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.

twilight

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

pandemonium

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…

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.

20140215_153956

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

Review – The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

bonaventure arrow

Title: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow
Author: Rita Leganski
Genre: Adult fiction, Magical realism
Pages: 400

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows Bonaventure’s silence is filled with resonance – a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.

Bonaventure’s remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mere Letice, plagued by grief and long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed.

My thoughts:
For my first review, this fabulous story by Rita Leganski was an easy choice. It was by far my favorite read this year! It was one of those books that I was sad to see come to an end. The writing is beautiful, the characters are endearing and the story is wonderful.

Little Bonaventure arrives into the world after the tragic death of his father, William, that leaves his mother, Dancy so grief stricken that it deeply effects the yet to be born Bonaventure. I fell in love with this sweet boy who never uttered a sound yet could hear colors, the grass growing, a butterfly’s wings, the stories contained in the objects around him and the feelings of others. Through Bonaventure’s special gift and the help of the HooDoo woman, Trinidad, the family finds love, healing and forgiveness.

I highly recommend savoring this book with your favorite cup of tea and getting lost in Bonaventure’s New Orleans.