The Lake House by Kate Morton
Rating: Very Good
Description: Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…
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. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.
Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. 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 estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. 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 eve
Why I Picked This Book: There's an abandoned house left fully furnished and a decades old missing persons case. How could I resist?
My Impression: I had read The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton years ago and really enjoyed it but had hesitated picking up another book by her because I was afraid it would be a bit same old same old. The book was so distinctive how could she write another book that was just as good that wasn't just a retelling. Then I read the blurb on The Lake House and I knew I couldn't resist it.
There are some similarities between the two books. Both involve secrets on top of secrets and both involve a child. However, there the similarities end. Little Theo Edevane's case got a lot of attention early on and the family he left behind dearly loved him. This is also an incredibly dysfunctional family though some dysfunction is more obvious than others.
I loved going on with Sadie's investigation and watch her thought process evolve as she's faces the actions that have caused her to take some personal time away from the police. I especially enjoyed watching her mind focus as she becomes more and more involved. It was really fascinating. She struggles a lot with her personal life as well and while I didn't always like her I did always sympathize with her. Her relationship with her grandparents is very special and the scenes with Sadie and Bertie felt very authentic.
The mystery of Theo's disappearance is an intriguing one yet it doesn't read like a straight mystery. We don't get clues and hints the way you do in a mystery and I didn't really know what had happened until Sadie figured it out.
It took some getting used to the flipping back and forth through time. The chapters were on the short side and just as I was starting to get comfortable in one time period the chapter ended and I was frequently somewhere else. However, fairly early on into the book this straightened out and it didn't really impact my enjoyment of the book.
This is a very twisty story with everyone having their own secrets. The ending is lovely though maybe a little pat but by the time I had gotten there I didn't mind a bit. It's not a fast read but I never felt like it dragged or like there was too much unnecessary information. My main problem is that it took me so long to finally dive back into a Kate Morton book. It won't be as long next time!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes! I'm looking forward to going through her backlog and anxious to see where the next book takes us.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! If you enjoy a complex story full of family secrets this is a fantastic read.