Book Review: The Lake House

Author: Marci Nault
Publisher: Gallery Books
Published: May 7, 2013
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

VICTORIA ROSE. Fifty years before, a group of teenage friends promised each other never to leave their idyllic lakeside town. But the call of Hollywood and a bigger life was too strong for Victoria . . . and she alone broke that pledge. Now she has come home, intent on making peace with her demons, even if her former friends shut her out. Haunted by tragedy, she longs to find solace with her childhood sweetheart, but even this tender man may be unable to forgive and forget.

HEATHER BREGMAN. At twenty-eight, after years as a globe-trotting columnist, she’s abandoned her controlling fiancé and their glamorous city life to build one on her own terms. Lulled by a Victorian house and a gorgeous locale, she’s determined to make the little community her home. But the residents, fearful of change and outsiders, will stop at nothing to sabotage her dreams of lakeside tranquility.

As Victoria and Heather become unlikely friends, their mutual struggle to find acceptance—with their neighbors and in their own hearts—explores the chance events that shape a community and offer the opportunity to start again.

Note: The publisher provided a paperbook copy in exchange for an honest review.

My Review: The Lake House was a book I looked forward to reading and I wasn't disappointed. The story moves back in forth in time and tells the tale of two main characters, Victoria and Heather. Victoria is an elderly ex-actress who returns to her hometown after experiencing great tragedy in her life. Heather is a twenty-something travel columnist who buys a home in the close-knit community because the lake house brings back memories of a distant childhood where she once felt safe. Both main characters are seeking redemption; both find unexpected friendship, love, and a sense of community.

The story begins with Victoria, a character I immediately connected with. Her pain is so raw, so real. Victoria could bring me to tears within seconds. But, Victoria tries not to dwell on her pain. She's strong and independent, almost to a fault. In fact her strength and independence is the reason some of the Nagog residents don't trust Victoria or welcome her back with open arms.

The elderly residents of Nagog aren't too happy to see Heather either. They don't want new blood in their close-knit community. They distrust youth and are convinced Heather will throw wild parties. The old men hatch a plan to sabotage Heather's home and hope to eventually drive her away. While Heather struggles to keep her career afloat, she must also battle a vindictive ex and her hostile neighbors. Only Victoria and Molly seem to welcome her.

Molly... ah, one of the most pleasant surprises in this book. Molly is Victoria's best friend, the town's best cook, and an overall nurturing, kindhearted person. She's been a solid, stalwart friend to Victoria, even when she didn't deserve it. Nagog is full of well-rounded, endearing characters just like Molly--Bill, Joseph, Daniel, Thomas, Tommy, Evelyn, and even Sarah--there's so much to love about this lakefront community.

The Lake House explores the bonds of friendships, old and new; the concept of soul mates and enduring love; and the healing forgiveness brings. This is a book I'm definitely recommending to the book club I belong to. I can't wait to share it with everyone!

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.