Set on a lushly gardened estate in Cornwall England, surrounded by woods, bordered by the lake, near the sea, how much more perfect a setting for such a beautiful house could you find? We see The Lake House in two time frames, its glory days around WWI and in 2003 when it is abandoned and neglected.
Owned by the Edevene family, The Lake House is home to Eleanor and Anthony, a handsome and devoted couple, and their three daughters, Deborah, Alice, and Clementine. In 1933 Alice was a bright sixteen year old, spending her time writing stories in her journal. Every year a Midsummer Night Party was held on the estate, a huge occasion with bonfires, fireworks, gondola rides on the lake, music, and feasting. This year the party was expected to be especially joyous. The Edevenes had a young son, Theo, a jolly, beautiful baby adored by the whole family. Instead Theo would vanish without a trace and the fairy tale idyll of the loving family at The Lake House would end.
In 2003 Sadie Sparrow is a cop with a few secrets of her own. She has broken a cardinal rule, becoming way too emotionally involved in the case of an abandoned little girl. Sent on a forced leave, she takes refuge with her Grandfather in Cornwall. Being with her Grandfather is a comfort but Sadie loves being a cop, she is a good detective and is terribly upset about her current situation. While out on a run with her Grandfather’s two boisterous Labrador retrievers, she discovers The Lake House and becomes obsessed with uncovering its secrets. Alice Edevane is in her 80’s and about to publish her 50th mystery novel. Alice is not at all certain she wants those secrets uncovered.
Kate Morton writes stories to be enjoyed. They are populated by likeable characters, they include moving glimpses of historic events, and the settings are lush. If there is to be murder or mayhem, it will mostly happen off screen. She allows her readers to sink comfortably into the story and enjoy their hours with her characters. There is such humanity and compassion in her stories. For instance when Sadie is sitting in her Grandfather’s cottage, she has a moment with one of his dogs: “Ramsay had honored her by coming to sit upon her feet and she reached down to scratch beneath his chin”. Now that is just how I feel about spending time with my animals!— Deon Stonehouse
November 2015 Indie Next List
“The Lake House explores an unsolved kidnapping that occurred between the World Wars at an isolated country house in England. Morton here continues to do all the things she does so well: weaving together a multi-generational family story from numerous perspectives; showcasing different facets of the same events; and bringing a wonderfully complex plot together in a kaleidoscopic web of uncovered secrets, past and present. With delightful characters, fascinating settings, and a captivating mystery, Morton draws us into a world we're sorry to leave. Highly recommended!”
— Carol Schneck Varner (M), Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI