Since going back to work and trying to adjust to a routine in the grown up world of earning a pay check, I’ve slowed my reading down just a little. Last summer I down loaded a whole heap of free books from Amazon (not in one day, over the course of some weeks) and because of commitments to tours some of the books got a little forgotten. I am now trying to get to all of them. This is one of them…..
Jess has not been back to the lake house since she was seventeen– the summer she fell in love with Daniel– the summer when a tragedy caused her to flee.Now, she is back, and the beautiful Victorian overlooking the lake belongs to her. Will the old house give up its secrets?
As Jess sifts through trunks filled with old letters and photographs, she tries to unlock the mysteries of the past, and maybe, just maybe, the secret to her own heart.
My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars ****
Wow, that is all I can say! Wow! This is not at all my normal genre (though I do have a guilty pleasure in Chick Lit from time to time) This is not Chick Lit either, this story was a complete surprise to me. I liked the synopsis, it was free and I thought it would make a great summer read.
This story is hauntingly beautiful, rich in descriptions and vivid in its poignancy. It starts with Jess Carpenter, 33, living in a small apartment in a dull job with her boyfriend Russ. Jess has just inherited her family home situated on a lake in Michigan. She hasn’t been back to the house since she was 17 years old. She is going back now, she is going to sell the house and finally put her past behind her.
The story is told from three POV, Jess as she is now, her 17 year old self and Maime, her grand mother. Jess would summer with her throughout her childhood because her mother Margaret was away being an international journalist. The story centers mainly on her last summer there. One of love, tragedy and sorrow. It also tells the story of Maime’s tragic sister Lila, who drowned in the lake.
The story is slow, but being detailed in its telling that’s just beautiful. It weaves in and out of Jess and Maime’s lives connecting the dots to a secret too big to tell, too shameful to whisper and it will be the one secret that will rip out Jess’s heart and send her on the path to no where.
Not until she goes back with Russ does she begin a journey of self discovery, one of Maime’s and Lila’s past, one where she can finally put the pieces together and finally find the happiness she thought she had lost forever. Daniel, the boy she loved and couldn’t be with was so dreamy, it was heart breaking to read just what stood in their way to true happiness.
I loved the gentle pace this story took, I could picture in my mind the scenes from the 1920’s -1930’s and I could feel Jess’s heart shatter when the one, tiny detail would rip her world apart.
If I had any complaints about this book it would be with the end. From the final chapter, which I have to say the last line….OMG, one of the best last lines ever “There is something I need to tell you” she said. To where it picked up in the epilogue, it left me a little confused, how did she get to the point she was at, was she with Daniel and Maggie? I would’ve liked it to have been a little better told.
However, overall this story was beautiful, entrancing and poetic. Again not my normal genre, but if you like stories of self discovery, love and what secrets a family can keep and how they can tear us down yet build us up then this is the book for you. Lovely story