I joined the BlogHer Book Club recently and my first assignment was to read and review "The Lake of Dreams" by Kim Edwards. I was very excited to read this book as the description seemed so compelling. This book is about Lucy, who has lived abroad for many years after leaving her hometown upon her father's tragic death when she was in high school. She comes back to see her mother after she was in a car wreck and she rediscovers the relationships with her family while delving into some old family secrets. She discovered a pamphlet and a piece of fabric locked away in her room and she is driven to find out about why some of her ancestors where seemingly erased from the family history. It seemed to me like it would be a great mystery and there would be some scandalous things revealed about her family's past.
Turns out, this book did not meet my expectations. It was very slow at first and I had a hard time relating to Lucy, the main character as she seemed lacking in the qualities that you expect from someone that you want to root for. She has no real direction or purpose and she isn't particularly likeable either. She sort of 'ran away' in the midst of her father's death and life went on without her and when she comes home she is surprised by this? She's not a teenager anymore and I would have expected her to have more depth. The 'mystery' part of the story turned out to be rather dull as well, sort of like Lucy's personality. It revolved around women's suffrage and some stained glass windows. Not exactly riveting stuff. The story did get really good though when it was being told from the perspective of the ancestor through some old letters that Lucy finds. Had the whole book been told by her this would be a very different review. Lucy does discover things about herself and her father's death and in the end everything ties together very nicely. I wish she had spent more time on these things rather than on the other tedious things she tended to focus on.
Although I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book to my friends, it does have some very lovely imagery. The author is obviously a good writer and she does a great job of making you feel as if you are right there as her descriptions of the scenery are very detailed (this also contributes to the slow pace of the book though). Overall, I am not regretful that I read this book, but it was obviously not one of my favorites.
If you'd like to find out more about this book and read some other reviews, hop on over to the BlogHer Book Club page and join in. Note: This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Clubs but the opinions expressed are my own.