“She made her way back quickly through the woods, careful to avoid the boathouse and its memories. Dawn was breaking as she reached the house; the rain was light. The lake’s water lapped at its banks and the last of the nightingales called farewell. The blackcaps and warblers were waking, and far in the distance a horse whinnied. She didn’t know it then, but she would never be rid of them, those sounds; they would follow her from this place, this time, invading her dreams and nightmares, reminding her always of what she had done.” ~Kate Morton, THE LAKE HOUSE
Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories.
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. He is never found, and the family is torn apart, the house abandoned.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as a novelist. 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 Edevane estate—now crumbling and covered with vines. 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.
Kate Morton has done it again. (And again. And again.) She manages to create nuanced, layered, multi-period mysteries with large casts of rich, sympathetic, memorable characters who haunt the reader long after the pages of the book are closed.
From past to present, THE LAKE HOUSE is lush and dark, enticing readers to enter each building, estate, and forest passage, following characters closely, watching over their shoulders, trying to unravel the mysteries of year and place along with them. Every character–no matter how difficult–is fully human and relatable in some way, making Time the true antagonist.
Unique to Morton’s stories are the way they engulf the consciousness. Through her spellbinding prose she hypnotizes the reader at each sitting. Whether one has ten minutes or an hour to read, it will be an immersive experience.
For those looking for escapist fiction, I highly recommend THE LAKE HOUSE, or any of Morton’s works.
Have you read it? What is your favorite Kate Morton novel?