By Sarah Addison Allen
St. Martin’s Press
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In connection with Net Galley
While on their honeymoon in Paris, France in the autumn of 1962, George and Eby Pim were lost in the pure moment of their love when a shocking reality strikes. A young woman named Lisette stood on the edge of the Bridge of the Untrue and jumped. Risking their lives, the couple saves her. Instead of returning to her family, Lisette decides to live with the Pims. Her reason is a big part of what has haunted her through her adult life.
Fast forward to the present, one year after the sudden death of her husband, Matt, Kate rises from grief to accept the reality of life without her husband. The bicycle business he owned is sold and Kate’s mother-in-law has her and her granddaughter’s life all planned out. Cricket insists that Kate work in her real estate office. That would help earn her a stable living to provide for her daughter, Devin, who is a free spirit and never one to surrender to conformity. As their home begins being transitioned, getting ready for their moving date, Devin finds a postcard from Lost Lake in a trunk in Kate’s mother’s house, now their own. Kate never knew of the postcard’s existence, that her great aunt Eby had sent it to her. Kate and Devin decide to head over to Lost Lake rather than go directly to Cricket’s home. Cricket is a natural controlling queen bee, but has a political agenda.
But fate has a way of dealing out its own deck of cards.
Clearly, a genuine connection is at the center of “Lost Lake.” A connection with several guests’ pasts for this is where they spent many summers and experienced contentment. For Bulahdeen Ward, now in her 80s, Lost Lake was where she and her husband, Charlie, both professors, would chill from the hectic pace of school. Bulahdeen now came with Selma since her husband was in a nursing home. Selma is the type of woman you don’t leave alone with your husband, because he wouldn’t be your husband for long. Jack Humphry came to Lost Lake because he loved Lisette and the solitude she could offer. Then there’s Wes, who had a sad childhood, with only a few good memories. Kate as a young girl was one of them.
What brings them all together is the hard reality of Eby finally believing it was time to sell her time-worn resort. A developer is determined to make it his. Long-time residents don’t want it to close down. In the middle of it all is Kate’s desire to build her own life and give her daughter a little happiness, what fate is denying them both.
What I loved about the book was that Eby and her husband turned away from wealth to build something of greater value. A place where families could enjoy being with each other and escape the stress of their lives. That Kate could see past her grief and move on with her life. That she could be a stronger mother. That ghosts want the living to have the happiness life denied them, as well.
Four vintage resorts out of five
July 26, 2014