The Lake of Dreams: Book summary and reviews of The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

The Lake of Dreams

A Novel

By Kim Edwards

The Lake of Dreams
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

With revelations that prove as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her bestselling phenomenon The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman's homecoming, a family secret, and the old house that holds the key to the true legacy of a family.

At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family's rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities, but soon reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage - from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows throughout upstate New York-the family story she has always known is shattered, Lucy's quest for the truth reconfigures her family's history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely.

With surprises at every turn, brimming with vibrant detail, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting saga in which every element emerges as a carefully place piece of the puzzle that's sure to enthrall the millions of readers who loved The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The Memory Keeper's Daughter ... is indisputably a hard act to follow. Lacking the melodramatic sizzle of its predecessor, this sophomore effort is a colorful but middling multilayered novel about family history, love, and redemption." - Library Journal

"All loose ends eventually come together with formulaic ease to rock the family boat." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a powerful story about the influence of history, the importance of our beliefs, and the willingness to embrace them all." - Booklist

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Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Cloggie Downunder
a marvellous read
The Lake of Dreams is the long awaited second novel by the bestselling author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards. It is 2006, and almost 10 years since Martin Jarrett was drowned in the Finger Lakes town of The Lake of Dreams. His daughter, Lucy, a hydrologist, is living in Japan with her engineer boyfriend, Yoshi, when she gets emails from family telling her of her mother, Evie’s wrist injury. Since her father’s death, she has been constantly on the move between countries, jobs and people, running from the responsibility she feels for the events of that night. When she travels back to The Lake of Dreams, she comes across relics from the past in the house of her childhood, clues to an unknown ancestor. As she searches further, she finds herself drawn to this distant relative, feeling a commonality with her. But what she eventually uncovers has the potential for explosive consequences for everyone in her family. In this beautifully told tale, Edwards touches of a myriad of subjects: glass art and stained glass in particular; genealogy and family history; the suffrage movement; the conservation of land and water, lakes and marshes; comets; women in the bible; dreams; locks, keys and lockcraft; emigrating. The story is absorbing, exciting in places and emotional: love, deception and betrayal, courage, sacrifice, fear, ambition, pride, envy, desire and regret all feature. I loved the tiny cameo that Edwards inserted: describing the cover of her first novel as being read by one of the characters. There were some wonderful passages and sentiments: “…..that evil is a force in the world, a force that seeks, and it finds its way into our lives through anger and loss, through sadness and betrayal, like mold on bread, like rot on an apple, it takes hold.” The message of acting out of love and not out of anger is powerfully conveyed through the narrative. A marvelous read.

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Author Information

Kim Edwards Author Biography

Kim Edwards is the author of a short story collection, The Secrets of a Fire King, which was an alternate for the 1998 PEN/Hemingway Award, and has won both a Whiting Award and the Nelson Algren Award, and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, her first novel, became a word-of-mouth best-seller, spending 122 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, 20 of those weeks at #1. Published in more than 38 countries, it was also a best seller in Italy, France, Germany, England, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Holland, and Taiwan. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter won the Kentucky Literary Award and the British Book Award. Her new novel is The Lake of Dreams.

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