Book Review: the Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

The Lake of Dreams is Kim Edwards second novel. Her first, The Memory Keepers Daughter, was from all accounts excellent. I haven’t read it because when my mum got me a copy for my 24th birthday, I accidentally left it in the sun room and my dog ate it.

Come my 27th birthday and I got my mum a copy of Tobsha Learner’s ‘Yearn’ (yes, our birthday’s are on the same day) and she wrinkled her nose up, said Eww and told me she only had Toshba’s earlier book because my Dad had purchased it. I read ‘Quiver’ when i was 14 and loved it – next year I’ll get mum a voucher. She got me a copy of The Lake of Dreams – hopefully next year she’ll get me a voucher too.

Despite my misgivings, I actually enjoyed the book and read it in 2 days while I was home sick from work. It’s about a woman called Lucy who has a terrible habit of running away from her own life. Unemployed and with her current relationship at a standstill, she returns to her mother’s house in a small town called the Lake of dreams. Lucy soon discovers the town – and the people in it – are not exactly what she remembers. feeling like an outsider in her own hometown, Lucy becomes enraptured with the story of a long lost relative – the tragic Rose and her beloved daughter Iris.

But tracing the history of Rose and the mysterious and beautiful glass windows she is somehow connected to, forces Lucy to look closely at her own family and how the past and the future are crashing together for the Jarrett clan. With her partner Yoshi far away, and uncertain of their future together, Lucy finds her heart stirring for an old flame.

The story weaves together history, family discord, beautiful scenery and heartbreak and presents it to you in an easy, flowing package. Lucy is believable as a character and if i personally didn’t like the choices she makes throughout the book, well that just makes her more realistic to me. A complex and well researched narrative, the Lake of Dreams has made me think perhaps getting a non-chewed copy of the Memory Keeper’s Daughter wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

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