Lost Lake

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Macmillan, Jan 21, 2014 - Fiction - 304 pages
2 Reviews

Now a New York Times Bestseller

From the author of the beloved bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever...

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby's past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that's left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It's a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she's all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer... and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren't sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it's too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.


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This book will take you away into a world of possibilities, second chances and hope after traumatic events, loss and sadness. It will leave you smiling even though the plot is obvious and the ending is all but expected. The characters are quirky and lovable even with their faults. The setting is warm and inviting. The ending is joyous.
In the autumn of 1962, Eby and her husband George are in Paris on an extended honeymoon. George is very wealthy and Eby’s family has designs on his fortune. As they crossed the Bridge of the Untrue, they witness the attempted suicide of a beautiful and tearful, young woman named Lisette. She throws herself into the water even after they try to stop her, and George jumps right in and rescues her. When Eby and George return home, Lisette soon follows. Shortly after, Eby and George give most of their money away to charity and begin a new and quieter life. They bought a place called Lost Lake, a resort with several cabins and they settled there. They turned their back on all the members of the family who had badgered them for a piece of their fortune, especially her sister and her mother and spent many happy years together.
In the present day, the reader meets Kate and Matt who were married after she discovered she was pregnant. Both in their teens, very much in love, they made a life for themselves although his wealthy mother disowned them. They opened a moderately successful bike shop called Pheris Wheels. Kate ran the business end and Matt was the mechanical end. They were happy, not rich, but they had enough. Their daughter Devin was a free spirit, as Kate had been as a girl, and she dressed herself up in outlandishly wild outfits that she adored. She was a singular creature with a gifted eye for fantasy and the supernatural. When a tragic bicycle accident takes Matt from Kate, she falls into a stuporous state. Her estranged mother-in-law, Cricket, then takes the opportunity to step in and take control. On the surface, she merely wants to help, but as Kate succumbs to being taken care of and basically drops out of her life for a year, Cricket is eyeing a political future. She has plans to launch her career using Devin and Kate in her campaign. When Kate comes to herself, she is not sure she wants the same things as her mother-in-law, and she swoops Devin up and runs away to Lost Lake, the place she spent the happiest summer of her life when she was 12 years old. Lost Lake is still owned by her great-aunt Eby who also marched to a different drummer!
With the help of Cricket, a real estate mogul, Kate’s bicycle shop and home had been sold providing her with a sizable nest egg. Although mother-in-law wants Kate and Devin to live with her, after finding her own sea legs again, she has doubts about it and thinks she would prefer independence, and she knows that is also Devin’s preference. Devin needs her to be strong so she can once again trust her mother.
At Lost Lake the reader meets very charming characters, each with a distinct unusual personality; each one will touch us… from the gentle, mute and fashionable Lisette to the obstreperous, ostentatious Selma who flirts with other people’s husbands, all will find a place in our hearts. Imbued with magic and mystery, at times somber and at other times humorous, this book will delight Allen’s fans.

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About the author (2014)

SARAH ADDISON ALLEN is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and The Peach Keeper. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

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