Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

The Lake House – Kate Morton

Historical Fiction 5*s
Historical Fiction
5*s

I chose to keep my copy of The Lake House for reading as my first read of the year as I had a feeling that I might not want to put it down and I was right I didn’t.

As in all of Kate Morton’s tales the story is split across different time periods; firstly in 1933 where Alice Edavane lives with her parents, her two sisters and her baby brother Theo at Loeanneth. Alice is in her teens already sure that she doesn’t want what her elder sister Deborah wants which is to go to London and marry well. Oh no, she is far too interested in writing stories and living at home for ever helping her father with his natural history studies. So far so normal but on the night of the Midsummer ball the Edavane’s host annually, something terrible happens and life will never be the same again..

Years into the future in 2003 the Metropolitan Police have been looking for a mother whose young daughter was left alone for days. Sadie Sparrow, a detective finds herself at odds with her superiors and is packed off for enforced leave to let the dust settle. She decides to stay with her Grandfather Bertie in Cornwall. Bored and worried about both her past and her future she hears of an unsolved crime and decides to investigate. Between that and her running she anxiously awaits the verdict on whether she still has a career to return to.

There are layers to this story which span far more years than the two main ones mentioned, we visit the battlefields of WWI, suburbia in the 1980s among plenty of others in-between, and as always with this author, I got a sense that this was backed up by solid research that underpins but never overshadows the story in hand. There are books within the book as well, a murder mystery and a children’s storybook that featured Mrs Edavane, Constance, as a young girl. So the stories swirl around each other, connected but each satisfying in their own right.

This is a large book at just over 600 pages and they are all packed with details or actions so none were inserted to make up the numbers! While not fast the pace of the book is consistent without that dreaded dip in the middle, and the characters are varied with realistic lives, hopes and dreams, which is always a bonus. The author has worked hard to make the largish cast rounded, nearly every single character had their fair share of emotions and motivations, some with a hint of a darker side.

In amongst the sheer readability is a solid mystery to be solved, along with a few more minor ones. I’m not going to pretend that some of the reveals don’t hinge on massive coincidences, but I found that easy to forgive in such an engaging and entertaining tome of a book, it does come with the territory for these type of historical split time-line stories and Kate Morton carries it off with far more aplomb than most. It was one of those books that I was genuinely sad to say goodbye to once I’d read the last page, it was that satisfying a read but my copy is now off to my friend who I’m sure will love it just as much as I did!

I’ve read all of Kate Morton’s previous books, you can see two sitting on my bookshelf on the header to this post and I’ve enjoyed them all immensely.

The House at Riverton
The Forgotten Garden
The Distant Hours
The Secret Keeper

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

29 thoughts on “The Lake House – Kate Morton

  1. This really does sound absorbing, Cleo! I do like that past/present connection when it’s done well, and the characters sound interesting. I’ll have to think about that length a bit. But if a book is well-written, the length is less important. Glad you enjoyed it so well.

    1. This author pulls off interesting stories in both time-frames really well and scatters the mysteries around so that it is easy to get totally immersed in the story – it is a commitment but one well worth making.

  2. I’m planning on reading this one in 2016 at some point. And I’ve also decided to not worry about how long the books I read this year are. I used to read long, long books and loved them. The family sagas by authors such as Barbara Taylor Bradford and Susan Howatch. In any case, I’ve only read one book by Kate Morton and I mean to change that this year.

  3. I always like the sound of Kate Morton’s books but still haven’t got around to trying one. And those dreaded words ‘600 pages’ made my poor TBR quiver… One day!

    1. I used to be hooked on this type of read but out of them all Kate Morton pulls off the links between past and present the best and has captivating stories for both time periods – I’m glad I had a long weekend to read it in!

  4. Lovely review! I have several Kate Morton books, and they all sound like my kind of reading — but I can never decide whether to read them in publication order or just jump in randomly. Do you have a recommendation for an intro to Kate Morton? 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed this one too! I so badly want to go to Cornwall and wander until I find an abandoned Lake House 🙂 I agree about the coincidences, but I didn’t think it detracted from all the discoveries in the end.

  6. I haven’t read your review because I’m currently reading The Lake House, but I saw you gave it 5 stars and I wholeheartedly agree. I am on page 200 and I can’t wait to rush to the house to tuck into bed and keep reading, just when I thought I had lost my reading mojo! Probably her best work until now.

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