Review: Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

9780670022175_TheLakeofDreams_JKF.inddTitle: The Lake of Dreams

Author: Kim Edwards

Publisher: VIKING: Penguin Group

Date of Publication: 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-02217-5

Pages: 384 pages

Format:  Hardcover (from Library)

Setting: Fictional town of Lake of Dreams, New York

About the Book: (from

With revelations that prove as captivating as the deceptions at the heart of her bestselling phenomenon The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards now gives us the story of a woman’s homecoming, a family secret, and the old house that holds the key to the true legacy of a family.

At a crossroads in her life, Lucy Jarrett returns home from Japan, only to find herself haunted by her father’s unresolved death a decade ago. Old longings stirred up by Keegan Fall, a local glass artist who was once her passionate first love, lead her into the unexpected. Late one night, as she paces the hallways of her family’s rambling lakeside house, she discovers, locked in a window seat, a collection of objects that first appear to be useless curiosities, but soon reveal a deeper and more complex family past. As Lucy discovers and explores the traces of her lineage00from an heirloom tapestry and dusty political tracts to a web of allusions depicted in stained-glass windows throughout upstate New York-the family story she has always known is shattered, Lucy’s quest for the truth reconfigures her family’s history, links her to a unique slice of the suffragette movement, and yields dramatic insights that embolden her to live freely.

With surprises at every turn, brimming with vibrant detail, The Lake of Dreams is an arresting saga in which every element emerges as a carefully place piece of the puzzle that’s sure to enthrall the millions of readers who loved The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

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About the Author: 

Kim Edwards grew up in Skaneateles, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The oldest of four children, she graduated from Colgate University and the University of Iowa, where she received an MFA in Fiction and an MA in Linguistics. After completing her graduate work, she went with her husband to Asia, where they spent the next five years teaching, first on the rural east coast of Malaysia, then in a small city an hour south of Tokyo, and finally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

During her time in Asia, Kim began to publish short fiction, and in 1990 her story “Sky Juice” won the Nelson Algren Award. Her stories and essays have since appeared in a wide range of periodicals, including Ploughshares, Zoetrope, Anteaus, Story, and The Paris Review. They have won many honors, including a National Magazine Award for Excellence in Fiction and a Pushcart Prize, as well as inclusion in The Best American Short Stories. Two of her stories have been performed at Symphony Space and broadcast on Public Radio International. Kim has also received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council, among others. Her story collection The Secrets of a Fire King was short-listed for the 1998 Pen/Hemingway Award.

My Review:

I chose to read this Lake of Dreams, because of my love of Edward’s first book, Memory Keeper’s Daughter.   I found the writing to be very descriptive, which I really liked about this book.  The elements of nature within the book were very vivid in my mind.  I could feel the awe is spotting the white deer.  I felt the characters were well developed.  I liked the character of Lucy Jarrett, but did find her a bit self absorbed and driven.  I think my favorite character is Rose Jarrett, who you only get to know through the letters that are discovered that were written by this long lost relative.   My favorite quote from those letters is as follows:

“Do not act out of anger.  Act from love or not at all.”  (Lake of Dreams, Kim Edwards, page 273)

Wouldn’t it be a better world if we all could remember to act from love or not at all.  Great words to live by.  Throughout Lake of Dreams run the themes of family secrets, women suffrage movement, dreams, and sacrifice for the sake of love.  Rose Jarrett is such a strong and adventurous woman for her time.  I know I would not have had the strength she had to make the choices she did.  Lake of Dreams is an engaging read that moves along at a nice pace.   I found the ending to be very satisfying.  

My Rating: 3/5 – I would recommend this book to others, but didn’t find it keeping me up late to read more Smile 

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Happy Reading!






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