Living on her family's gorgeous lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, clever, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented 14-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 son, Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined, leaving their estate as empty as their broken hearts.
Nearly 60 years later, having enjoyed a long, successful career as an author, Alice is now 80 years old and living in London. Theo's case has never been solved, though Alice still harbours 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 ever.
A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is spellbinding and satisfying.
©2015 Kate Morton (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Morton excels at creating absorbing mystery." (People)
"Morton is the master of the atmospheric old-fashioned novel packed with enough stories to fill all the worn satchels in the Milderhurst attic." (Bookpage)
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I am an enormous Kate Morton fan, as well as a devoted Caroline Lee fan. I believe wholeheartedly that The Lake House is the best yet for both women. I listened nearly straight through -- up until the point about 4 hours from the end when I realized I was getting too close to the last words and forced myself to slow it down. I wanted it to last forever! While some puzzle pieces were simple enough to figure out from early on, others were a complete surprise at the end. Caroline Lee was once again brilliant, and narrated the entire book perfectly from start to finish. I couldn't even imagine a Kate Morton book without her voice in my head. The scenes of Cornwall were deliciously descriptive, and made me want to visit. The carefully woven web of the plot was superb, and I felt so incredibly satisfied at the end. All in all, a terrific book! The only downside is that I have to once again wait patiently for the next...
"The Morton Formula"
When I began reading Morton I envisioned some grande dame writing her novels from an aging manor in the English countryside. I was surprised to finally see that this Australian author, that so deftly slips her readers into chapters from history, is about the same age as my own daughter. The Lake House takes place in Cornwall, England between 1930 and about 2003, following the tried and true formula that Morton has used from the beginning of her career: submersive period pieces that neatly tie a past mystery to a moment of intrigue in the future. The mystery here revolves around the abduction of a well-to-do family's (Anthony and Eleanor Edevane) infant son, taken from their estate during a party at their grand estate. The case was retired, never solved.
....Cut to 2003, where a troubled Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow (with secrets of her own), becomes intrigued with the old case and searches out one of the kidnapped infant's sisters. Alice Edevane is a famous mystery/crime writer, advanced in years and very ill. What follows is a complex story that unravels with a surprise around every corner.
Morton never disappoints even though she doesn't stray from her formulaic structure and some *coincidences* are a little hard to swallow. The textured and layered story keeps you too busy to dwell on any awkward contrivances, following along as every detailed is put into place. Her characters are more definitive of central casting than out of central casting, all integral parts of the story, both physically and psychologically drawn. Lake House seemed to have a larger cast involved in the plot than her other books, and felt at times like keeping track of Orange A while juggling Oranges A, B, C, & D.
You may find yourself wondering if you've missed a turn somewhere along the line and wandered passed a landmark you've seen before if you have read her other books; a tiny problem with such formulaic reads by authors with a definitive style. But, it is entertaining and moves quickly, and who doesn't enjoy a little sleuthing in an old English estate with a mysterious past? Recommend to fans of this genre.
"A fairy tale for adults"
A wonderfully written book with mysteries within mysteries. I could not stop listening, but did not want it to end! 5 stars!
"Slow Getting Into, But Then Impossible to Put Down"
It took me a while to become invested in this story: partly because the many shifts between various point-of-views and time periods. There's quite a bit of exposition, I felt, in the beginning, also. Necessary information but not necessarily interesting.
Yet it's easy to care about the two central characters, Alice and Sadie, right from the start--they are interesting and likable.. That, along with Caroline Lee's superb narrative style, provided enough incentive to keep listening until things really got good. By mid-way through, the mystery and the plights of the various characters had me hooked. I didn't want to stop listening.
I'll admit, though, mostly because this is what I was in the mood for, I was hoping for a bit more romance. Besides the relationship between Eleanor and Anthony, though, very little of the story is about love or romance. The theme is mainly focused on parental devotion to children/the things a loving parent would do for a child, and the resolution of mysteries. The stories of the multiple characters intertwine perfectly to this end, making this a very satisfying book to read/listen to.
I first found this book because I love Liane Moriarty books and Caroline Lee is the narrator for a couple of them... I'm so glad I did. While this book cannot be precisely compared to Moriarty's style of fiction, there is much about The Lake House that will appeal appeal to Moriarty fans. I'd especially recommend The Lake House to readers who enjoyed The Last Anniversary and The Husband's Secret.
"Fun and satisfying, but a little bit overly meta"
First off, great performance by narrator Caroline Lee. I'm going to look for some more of her work.
The book itself is good, but the pacing is a little off. I'm deeply impressed by the author's ability to keep that quantity of plot threads in the air, and she did, in fact, resolve all of them in a well thought-out and satisfying way. No loose ends, and all of the little clues she hung out there with great big "this is a clue" signs hanging off of them did in fact get used to support the mostly fairly surprising resolution, which is just how mystery novels are supposed to work. So good job there. But what put me off a little is that the vast majority of the dangling plot threads all got resolved in a huge hurry in one chapter toward the end. It was kind of like the author realized that she'd written as many words as the publisher was likely to publish, and figured she'd better tie up all the loose ends right now. And she did, and they all tied up very slickly and cleanly, but it was really rushed.
One of the main characters is a writer of English mystery novels, I suspect loosely based on P.D. James, and a lot of the plot centers around the interaction between her writing and her real life. But of course her real life is itself a story in a mystery novel. Whoa, my mind is like totally blown right now. I think the problem with this structure is that the book becomes more about the author's cleverness than about an involving story. I spent a lot of time being impressed at what the author was pulling off, but that sort of kept me at a distance from the story.
Still, I enjoyed it, and it kept me guessing (mostly; there was one plot thread whose resolution anybody who's read any significant number of English mysteries will see coming a mile off), and being impressed by the author's cleverness isn't the worst thing in the world. So I recommend it. But it's not my all-time favorite.
Fully developed story that was incredibly well written. A good story, one that will keep your attention and keep you guessing. Caroline Lee's reading was theatrical enough to add to the story without distracting - one of my favorite performances so far in audio books.
This is an audio book I will listen to again.
"Oh no, the end."
I have found a new author and will be expecting another just as great as this one. The beginning was a Little slow but I am glad I stayed with it until the story picked up. Another twist or two and just when you think you have the ending figured out you learn you don't. I highly recommend this wonderful story with a unexpected ending!
"Good story - Too much detail"
This book could have been 10 hours shorter. Painful to listen to details that did not pertain to anything in this book. The overall story was good but got lost in the author trying to be too flowery with her description of everything.
"eyes rolled all the way to the back of my head"
This dragged on, and on, and on, with the most predictable ending possible, and a few loose ends tied up in such a way that I said "oh, come ON" to my phone several times in the last few hours of listening.
Also, I really just can't understand why Caroline Lee, audibly an Australian, narrates all of Kate Morton's books.
"One of Kate Morton's Best"
The Lake House, written in Ms. Morton's effective, and now expected, "past and present" snapshots, is one of my favorites. Morton once again take slices of life from 100 years ago and makes them dance in our imaginations.
Wonderful visuals, a tough subject matter handled sensitively, and beautifully written prose keep the reader interested and intently waiting for the story to unfold as only Morton can do.
Caroline Lee, as always, is is the perfect narrator choice for Ms. Morton's novels, and is just a class act.
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