Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Book Review - The Lake of Dreams

I read The Lake of Dreams, written by Kim Edwards a few weeks ago and have just thought about how I would write my review for it. 

The Lake of Dreams

The story tells us of a woman, Lucy Jarratt, returning home to her childhood house where she finds herself stirred by unresolved issues she has with her fathers death and the way she left her home town. One night, whilst pacing the floors of her once familiar home, she stumbles across some old letters stashed away under a windowseat that nobody knew existed.

From the offset this book seemed promising. It had all the aspects of an exciting and mysterious novel, emotionally confused leading lady, a handsome blast from the past, family secrets and more. I have to admit, about a third of the way in, I was very disappointed. 

I was drawn into the book quite quickly, but after a while, the descriptions of how flowers smelt and how the lake looked began to get really boring. There's only so many different ways of describing the smell of jasmine, I can assure you. 
Everything seemed a bit predictable to me. From the way Lucy's relationship with old flame Keegan began and ended, the decisions she made, and ultimately the outcome of the book. I won't spoil it for you because I think it's supposed to be a 'twist'. 

The letters that Lucy finds in the windowseat are letters from a woman named Rose to her daughter Iris. Rose left her daughter in the care of her brother whilst she joined the suffragette movement. Rose was outcast by the rest of her family and so was unwelcome back home. She did however visit her daughter a few times, although Iris didn't know who she was. 

The rest of the story see's Lucy follow links and clues to find more letters from Rose to Iris. Along with this comes glass windows which are also linked in to Rose's story and coincidentally Lucy's old flame Keegan who is now a glass artist. 

Ultimately I found the book quite boring. It's a very mundane evaluation of it, but it's true. I will probably receive a verbal bashing for not being interested in reading about the suffragette movement, but I know what happened, how it happened, I just don't want to read a fictional story about it. Especially a story that started off with so much promise. Personally, a family scandal is not having a secret Great Aunt who was arrested during the suffragette period. There probably wasn't enough 'shock factor' for me, but there also wasn't enough to keep me interested. I didn't find the leading character, Lucy Jarratt, likeable either. Nobody likes their 'Mums new boyfriend' but when you're pushing 30, it's time to grow up a bit.

Despite all of this, I read the book through to the end. Like I said before, I wasn't surprised about the ending, it was obvious to me whilst reading the book. It didn't offer any of the mystery it has promised and I was constantly left feeling a bit bereaved. 

However, the way the book floated easily between past and present was very well written. If you like every scene to be painted for you, then Edwards did an exceptional job. 

Having read Kim Edwards previous book 'The Memory Keepers Daughter', I was very disappointed with 'The Lake of Dreams'. I would recommend it to possibly the older generation who like to read books where everyone is nice, friendly and gets along in that strange, unlikely way. Oh, and who like to read about the smell of flowers. 

Oh, and I'm just going to add this in here, it's not part of the review, it's more of a question to those who have read it. This part of the book was never actually explained and I'm confused. It says that Iris never receives the letters from Rose, but does not explain why. Were they intercepted? Because it also states that Rose never once stepped foot in the house where Iris was risen, so how did one of the letters and the piece of blanket end up there concealed in leaflets about womens rights for Lucy to find?
Can anyone shed some light on this?

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. It is a personal review, all opinions and statements are my own.

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