Saturday, September 27, 2014
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
The first book I read of SAAs was garden Spells, and it instantly became one of my favorite ever books. I love magic realism and don't find a lot of it in American authors and even less of it done well. Garden Spells was magic realism done brilliantly.
Her other books have been enjoyable but didn't have the same emotional resonance for me and I assumed that SAA would be a one book wonder for me, which was fine. I wouldn't stop reading but I'd never again feel that same deep bond to any of her books.
Lost Lake changed everything.
It's a story of Kate, who lost her husband, and her daughter Devin, reconnecting to Kate's Aunt Eby, to the summer Kate turned 12 at Eby's cabin at Lost Lake and to her own self a year after the death of her husband. It's the story of the people who come to Lost Lake every summer because there's something there they need (love, friendship, fresh chances).
This was the book that came out of Sarah Addison Allen's life after breast cancer (she's been 2 years in remission). This is writing that rooted deep in my heart and eked tears from my eyes as my breath caught.
Unlike other books, the magic is just as prevalent but this time it isn't cutesy or overpowering. Not everybody contains magic but it runs along the bottom of the lake (an alligator with his own history), it runs in Kate and Eby and their line of women who lose their husbands...
There was an ache of loss in the book but even more, there was hope and belief in the future. It isn't romance although romance is important. More than that it's a book about women coming back to life, back to themselves and back to each other. The women are the story and they ebb and flow into each other creating something brilliant.
It was brilliant. I'm going to read it again and again. I hope you might also.