Reviewing Kate Morton’s The Lake House

The Lake House by Kate Morton is the fifth novel by one of my favourite writers. I love her work so much and was very excited to read this one! In June 1933 at a Midsummer Eve party a little boy goes missing. Alice Edevane, 16 years old and the little boy’s sister, is a budding writer and hopelessly in love with someone completely unsuitable. She’s pretty sure she saw something the night her bother went missing.

In 2003 policewoman Sadie Sparrow has been ‘asked’ to take leave after a difficult case. She moves in with her grandfather in Cornwall and whilst running one day comes across an abandoned house where a long time ago a child went missing. Alice Evedane is now a bestselling mystery writer and doesn’t particularly like someone poking about in her family’s past….

This is a lush book, full of atmosphere and intertwines fates. The story moves from 1933 and 2003 and as each chapter passes we learn a little more about what happened to Baby Theo and the people who loved him. And even though Kate Morton once again manages to write convincingly and without confusion about two time zones, creating an interesting cast of characters, if didn’t reach the very high expectations I had (once you read The House at Riverton you can’t help but have very high expectation).

Like all Kate Morton’s other novels The Lake House is a very big book but unlike the rest of her novels this one felt a little longer then it needed to be. While I was very happy to read it on my commute I was never tempted to read it at home. There were a lot of pages taken up with descriptions – of the house, of Cornwall, of London – and equally lengthy descriptions of the characters.

There were a few characters, Eleanor Evedane (Theo and Alice’s mother) who I found liking less and less as the book went on and on, Alice Evedane who was so self-absorbed as a child (but at least 2003 Alice acknowledges this), and even at times Sadie Sparrow whose obsession with the police case which might ruin her career (though justified) seemed to be so out of place in the story.

The Lake House drips information as each chapter progresses something which I love. There were some twists and turns I guessed very early on and even the truth about Theo seemed obvious to me. But there were still a few which surprised me and in the case of The Lake House how we learn the full truth about what happened to these characters is almost as interesting as the truth itself.

Even though this isn’t my favourite Kate Morton novel I don’t know how anyone could be disappointed with it. As always her attention to detail is astonishing and her writing style is very lyrical. She is one of the only authors I know who can weave past and present narration in such an effective and remarkable way. If your first Kate Morton book is The Lake House be prepared to want to read her previous novels even more.

The Lake House by Kate Mroton is published by Pan Macmillan and is available as a paperback from all good and evil retailers.

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