Author: Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria Books (October 20, 2015)
Pages: 495 pages
How I Read It: eARCGenre: Women's Fiction, General Fiction (Adult), Historical Fiction, Mystery
My Rating: 4.5 cups
From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.
"It wasn't so much the discovery of a single clue, as the coming together of many small details. That moment when the sun shifts by a degree and a spider's web, previously concealed, begins to shine like fine-spun silver. Because suddenly Sadie could see how it all connected and she knew what had happened that night."
She ever so skillfully weaves the threads together, revealing the secrets at the perfect pace, and while some twists you can see coming, others take you delightfully by surprise. Her stories are always so well crafted, however, that even when you've guessed the twist it doesn't ruin the reveal.
As always, Morton executes the intricate plot and dual timelines in this tale perfectly, and her descriptive prose is rich and gorgeous.
"This house might easily have been forgotten but for the story attached to it, the infamy of that little boy’s disappearance. Over time the infamy had gained an echo and eventually it had ripened into folklore. The fairy story of a little boy lost and a house cast into an eternal sleep, holding its breath as the garden continued to tumble and grow around it."
One of the main characters in this book is an author of mystery books, and I loved the many observations on storytelling and parallels to Morton's own craft interspersed throughout this novel.
"She'd realized recently (an awareness that coincided with her new obsession for Agatha Christie) that what her previous story attempts were missing was a puzzle, a complex, knotty twist of events designed to mislead and bewilder readers. Also, a crime. The key to the perfect novel, Alice had decided, was to revolve the story around a crime's solution, all the while tricking the reader by making it seem she was doing one thing when in fact she was merrily doing another."
Although it may not take over the top spot as my absolute favorite Morton novel, The Lake House is an outstanding read which further cements this writer's position on my list of "must read" authors. You simply cannot go wrong with a Kate Morton book!