Book Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

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After reading a few Kate Morton novels last year, I found myself enamored with her storytelling and character creation abilities. I added all of her books to my TBR and included The Lake House on my monthly Book Bucket List on my blog, where followers vote to select one read per month for me — this won as my June novel and I finished it over 6 days last week. With a new puppy in the house, reading and book reviewing time is not as easy as usual but I’m determined to meet my June TBR goals. While I absolutely adored this book, there were a few times I felt disconnected and disappointed, or that the coincidences were a little too much, but not for too long or in any way to truly bother me.
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The story focuses on several characters in England mostly during the 1910s to the 1930s, and then current time which is set in the 2000s. In the 1920s, the Edevane family is recuperating from World War 1 where while no one died, the savagery of war has had its toll on relationships. Alice is the focus, the middle sister who never quite fit in the family and became a mystery writer. When her younger brother disappears, and her two other sisters begin to act oddly, something seems off. Throw in a battleaxe for a grandmother, a fun but peculiar uncle-type, and some very attentive or non-attentive nannies, there’s got to be something bad that happened to the little boy… but was he kidnapped, killed, or is someone making things up about his childhood? When Alice’s book covers some of those true-life situations, people wonder what happened years ago… in modern times, Sadie has been put on leave after she made a mistake during an investigation, so the cop visits her grandfather and gets caught up in the old Edevane case while taking some rest. This is a story about missing children, lost children, and kidnapped children… there are a few cases going on, but they are not connected in any way other than as situations to help readers reflect on the character’s emotions and lives.

What I love about Morton’s writing is the imagery and depth you see, hear, and experience. Everything feels like it’s unfolding right before your eyes on a stage. Among the always present gardens, large estates, dysfunctional families, and interconnected historic and modern times, you’re carried away into a dreamlike state where you can happily immerse yourself in beauty and lyrical action. Morton also excels at weaving together multiple stories that have both small and large connections you begin to assemble along the path. At times, it’s a bit too connected or coincidental, but truthfully, isn’t that part of why we read books? We want to experience something new and different, a shock or a twist… if it was all simple and straightforward, there wouldn’t be a lot of drama to dig into. So while it can be a bit overdone or over-the-top (even in my own writing, I would agree it happens), it also is what truly makes the book spectacular in other ways. It’s a story with a start and a finish, so it’s going to have very specific reasons for things happening. In this one, it all felt natural as it could have happened just pushed together too closely in a few occasions.

I also struggled a bit in the early pages as there were a few too many characters to keep track of, and with so many women across 4 generations, it was often a confusing in the beginning of a chapter to know which one we were talking about. It was done purposefully to add intrigue and suspense, which I understand, but sometimes it was a little too much. Other than those concerns, I was very happy with the story. It isn’t my favorite Morton, but I find myself still thinking about it days later… Morton captures the young heroine trying to solve the past like no other author I know. She can also brilliantly build the amazing balance in an octogenarian who is torn, but also a bit of a curmudgeon about the past. You feel the indeterminable strength in the woman who can’t let go but is desperate for a closure that seems destined to cause more pain.

I am thrilled with this book, especially with the last 25% and how it all came together. Stunning poetry at times. I can’t wait to read her latest book, The Clockmaker’s Daughter, which I just got approved for on NetGalley.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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23 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

    […] the 13th entry off my Book Bucket List:  The Lake House by Kate Morton. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom to round out the 12 options […]

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    June 12, 2018 at 10:44 AM

    A mystery historical fiction?

    Liked by 1 person

    waggytalesblog.com said:
    June 12, 2018 at 11:08 AM

    I love this authors books, haven’t read any recent ones but loved her first novels, I will add this one to my list.

    Liked by 1 person

    I’m sorry this wasn’t a perfect read for you Jay but I’m glad that overall you still enjoyed it. I’m excited about The Clockmaker’s Daughter as well.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 12, 2018 at 3:15 PM

      It got so much better, but still had a few off things. Probably 4.25 stars, just not enough to round to 5 for me, but you’re right. The next one will be amazing from the overview!

      Liked by 1 person

    Carrie Rubin said:
    June 12, 2018 at 12:14 PM

    I read The Secret Keeper and loved it, so I don’t know why I haven’t read more of her books yet. (Well, actually I do–it’s because I have far more books to read than I possibly ever can!) I have The Forgotten Garden on my Kindle. It’s been there for a long time, but hopefully I’ll get to it. I’ve heard it’s one of her best.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 12, 2018 at 3:18 PM

      Hi. I have to read that one, too. Of the 6, I’ve completed 3; next month will be 4. Between The Secret Keeper and House at Riverton later this year, I’ll be caught up. So far, The Forgotten Garden is my favorite. You must make it this year!

      Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    June 13, 2018 at 7:18 AM

    I loved her book, The Distant Hours, and after reading your review, will definitely get this one!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 13, 2018 at 8:44 AM

      It’s very similar in tone and style. She’s amazing as writing certain character types. Love it. How are you????

      Liked by 1 person

        Rae Longest said:
        June 13, 2018 at 2:49 PM

        I’m doing fine, but found out today I need to have some tests done–the usual old age things doctors check for. I want to make this clear: I am only doing this for my doctor’s peace of mind! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 14, 2018 at 6:19 AM

        I understand and am sure you will be fine. But checking it always good, so if it’s just because the doctor wants to verify, then that’s fine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    robbiesinspiration said:
    June 16, 2018 at 3:33 AM

    This sounds like an intriguing family saga, Jay. Lovely review.

    Liked by 1 person

    Stephanie said:
    June 17, 2018 at 2:23 AM

    Sounds intriguing and I enjoyed your review. I still haven’t read Morton even though I keep meaning to and this is the only book of hers that I own, so I’ll be interested see what I think after I read it. I did just request her newest one from Netgalley on Friday, so I’m hopeful that I will get it! It sounds absolutely fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 17, 2018 at 4:28 PM

      I hope you get it, too. The Forgotten Garden is her best. Can’t wait to compare notes!

      Like

        Stephanie said:
        June 17, 2018 at 5:48 PM

        Fingers crossed! I’ll have to get The Forgotten Garden then; I’ve heard other people say that too! Yes, we will! If I can get all my ARCs read lol. I’m on a self imposed Netgalley ban after accruing 18 review books for July (harder than I thought though with fall releases arriving,lol)…I must have lost my mind there for a bit! I’ve done well though and only requested Morton’s new one and Jodi Picoult’s new one…we will see!!

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        June 18, 2018 at 6:34 AM

        Sometimes the NetGalley book download ban is necessary to not fall too deep. I hate the, but I’ve come to need them, too. Don’t lose your
        mind over it! LOL

        Like

    justonemorepaige said:
    June 21, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    I always enjoy her books – well written escapist reads!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      June 21, 2018 at 3:50 PM

      Yes! Thanks for the follow. Just returned with one, too. I look forward to seeing more on your site.

      Liked by 1 person

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