I’ve read a few of Kate Morton’s books before and always enjoyed them. They always go along similar lines – an incident from 70 to 100 years ago at a grand country house. The woman at the centre of the incident is either still alive or her younger sister or daughter is. A younger woman, her granddaughter or a long-lost great-great niece comes along to investigate, and the whole story flits from the past to the present, falling into place at the end.
And so to The Lake House, which is very much along these lines. A house in Cornwall is abandoned in 1933 after a tragedy hits 16-year-old Alice Edevane’s family. In the present day, a young detective, Sadie Sparrow, is taking a break from work after making a slip-up on a difficult case. Alice Edevane is now an elderly lady, and a successful writer of detective novels. When Sadie stumbles across the house and starts to look into its secrets, will everything Alice has tried to hide come crumbling down?
When I first started reading The Lake House, I wondered whether I still wanted to read this sort of novel. But I soon realised that I did and was hooked. I actually loved this book and read it really quickly, as I had to pick it up at every possible opportunity.
Despite being 600 pages long, the story moves at a good pace. As predicted, it moves from the past to the present – focusing not just on Alice and Sadie, but on Alice’s mother, Eleanor. All three characters have their secrets, which unfold gradually, and there are plenty of twists and turns along the way.
The whole thing comes to a very satisfying conclusion and I must admit to shedding a tear or two.
The Lake House is a great read for anyone who enjoys a gentle mystery and a bit of history. Don’t be put off by the thickness of the book – it’s not a particularly challenging or confusing novel. It comes highly recommended by me!