Lost Lake

Sarah Addison Allen. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-01980-6
In Allen’s (Garden Spells) atmospheric fifth novel, a widow and her daughter find healing at a quirky summer resort. For the year following her husband’s sudden death, Kate Pheris sleepwalked through life, barely able to care for her eight-year-old daughter, Devin. Kate’s overbearing mother-in-law, Cricket, stepped in, selling Kate’s house and arranging for Kate and Devin to come live with her. On moving day, Kate unearths a postcard from Lost Lake, a resort in Suley, Ga., where her great-aunt Eby owned a group of rental cabins. More than that, it was where Kate spent her “last best summer.” Finding the postcard wakes her up. On a whim, Kate decides to take a detour to Suley with Devin, having no idea whether Eby and the cabins will even still be there. They are—Eby’s decided to open the cabins for a handful of her regulars for one final summer before selling to a real estate developer. Kate and Devin are immediately taken with Lost Lake and Eby’s guests, an assortment of oddballs and misfits. When a magical alligator directs Devin to a treasure box submerged in the lake, it sets off a chain of events that uncovers 15-year-old secrets and cements Kate and Devin’s ties to the resort. The overused family business–versus-developers trope doesn’t particularly add to the story, and Allen’s trademark mystical touches are not as effective as usual, but her eccentric cast of characters and charming Southern setting will win readers over. Announced first printing of 125,000. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 02/11/2014
Genre: Fiction
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