Book Club February 2016

This month’s book was picked by Stephanie. She picked The Lake House by Kate Morton.

Published Year: 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 593

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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 ever.

                                                              First Impressions

When Stephanie first read the synopsis for this book, I was intrigued. I had a couple of quick predictions that I thought were obvious, but I was intrigued. I was excited to read a mystery as it was different from the types of books I had read recently. I was a little put off by the length of the book (because of time constraints) and wasn’t taken in with the cover. It definitely would not have jumped off the shelves to me, especially as a mystery novel.

                                                               What I thought

This was an interesting book and it kept me turning the pages, curious to find out what really happened.

The Lake House follows a few different storylines over a long period of time. One storyline is Sadie. Sadie is a police detective in present day. She is asked to go on leave after some issues with a case, and while visiting her Grandfather in Cornwall, discovers the Edevane house. While looking into it, she discovers that there was a mystery that occurred on those grounds. The other two storylines follow Eleanor Edevane and Alice Edevane. Eleanor was the mother and mistress of the house while Alice was the middle Edevane sister. The book switches back and forth between narrators and time periods, revealing parts of the mystery as it goes on.

This book is a bit slow to get into. I think it took about 100 pages before I really found myself invested and curious about what happened. By about 200 pages I was really into it and trying to read as much as I could as fast as I could. There were a few slower moments toward the last bit of the book, but it picked back up again.

Morton wrote these characters so well. I was attached to each and every character that came through the book, no matter how small their part. She also did an amazing job of making the reader feel attached almost immediately. While Sadie wasn’t one of my favorites, I still enjoyed reading her story. I think hers was probably the least developed which is why I wasn’t as attached. There were actually three main mysteries within the story, and unfortunately I think one of them was a little bit left behind.

Besides the disappearance of Theo, the Edevane’s little boy, we follow the case that Sadie was following before she was asked to take a holiday from her job. In addition to that, there is a part of Sadie’s life that is a small mystery that is hinted at. Unfortunately, this was the part that was a bit underdeveloped. It seemed like it was thrown in to create a reason for certain things but then left alone because it wasn’t really a concern. I would’ve liked learning more about that part of Sadie’s life.

I did find parts of the book to be predictable, but not overly so. As a reader, I’m kind of tough to keep in the dark. I tend to be able to figure out what’s going to happen before it does. I didn’t figure out everything in this book, but from pretty early on I figured out two relatively important parts. This didn’t ruin the book for me as I was 100% sure that I was right until closer to the end, but it did take out a lot of the surprise for me. Overall, it was a really interesting story and I really liked the characters. I will definitely be checking out more of Morton’s books in the future.

                                                    What Book Club Thought

With the exception of one person, everyone seemed to enjoy it. We all agreed that there were certain story lines we could’ve done without as they weren’t totally necessary to the main story, but overall everyone really liked it.

The fun thing to do was write down all of our theories as we were reading and then share them at book club. If you pick this book for a book club, I highly recommend doing this. It was really fun to see who guessed what at certain parts of the book.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I can share our poignant questions as they were mostly about parts of the plot that would spoil it for people who haven’t read it. It made for a great discussion and we all enjoyed talking about which characters we liked and which we didn’t. It was also fun to see if we would’ve made the same choices the characters did.

Book Club for March

A Court of Thorns and Roses By: Sarah J. Maas

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Book Club Date: March 19th