The Lake House – Kate Morton

I am literally only a minute or two from finishing reading this book. Unusually, I don’t have that feeling that I often get when I finish a book, where I am deeply sad that it is over and I have to leave that world, only to return to reality. That’s not to say that I didn’t like it. Rather, everything was so perfectly resolved that I don’t have to know anything more! I’m not aching for it to continue. I’m content.

Quite simply, this is a beautiful story. The setting in seaside Cornwall, and the occasional reference to childish fairy tales and magic is lovely and relaxing. It’s an easy and immersive read.

In a nutshell: a child goes missing from a rich family in Cornwall in 1933. They never find him. In 2003, a Detective Sadie Sparrow (why does that name seem a bit corny?) comes across the old abandoned house while on enforced leave, after getting into some trouble with her own case. So, she picks up the case of the missing Edevane child, whose older sister is still alive and writing detective novels…

The clever thing about The Lake House is that there are several plots intertwined.

  1. We have the main plot, of missing Theo Edevane in Cornwall in 1933.
  2. The story of Sadie’s case – the Bailey case – which got her into trouble.
  3. Sadie’s own life story: she got pregnant young and adopted her daughter, and now the daughter is reaching out to her.
  4. Alice Edevane, detective writer and older sister of missing child Theo. She has her own theory about what happened to him, and is now living in London.
  5. Eleanor Edevane – mother of Theo, and her history and story of love, loss, sacrifice.

I like the structure of this novel, in that it is non-linear and jumps back and forth between 1933, 2003, and then back before 1933 when Eleanor was young. This style lends to its mystery nature, as it allows more important details to be uncovered as it progresses. We also see different points of view from the different characters, at different stages in their life, which justify their thoughts, actions and outcomes.

I’ve never read any mystery novels before, and while this has a healthy dose of romance, drama and historical fiction, I was loving the slow progression of the Edevane case. I found myself confident of one theory, only to have it disproved and a new suspect to pop up! Utterly enjoyable 🙂

I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for happy endings – and this is very much what we get here. However, as I mentioned at the beginning, this has left me feeling okay that the book has ended. I don’t need any more. After nearly 600 pages, I guess fair enough. Kate Morton has just done a very good job of tying up all loose ends and making sure everyone is happy. Kind of. A few people die in a pretty sad way.

All in all, a good read, a bit simple, but lovely with a solid resolution.



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