I wonder if other people who read a lot of books (and a lot of book blogs) feel this way too, but when I hear a bunch of terrible things about a book, I feel a little relieved. One less book to try and squeeze onto my already way-too-long list of things to read.
And if I read a book that I don’t care for, I am unlikely to read anything else by that author.
After reading (and by “reading,” I really mean “slogging”) The Memory Keeper’s Daughter a couple of years ago and being distinctly unimpressed, I had no desire to read anything by Kim Edwards again.
But then, when The Lake of Dreams showed up as an option for the BlogHer Book Club and the back sounded like it could be quite excellent, I decided to take a chance on it.
And I am so so glad I did. I enjoyed this book more than any adult book I’ve read since What Alice Forgot (I liked What Alice Forgot more, though, so if you only have time for ONE book, you should choose that one instead).
The Lake of Dreams has many of the same elements of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – family secrets, forgotten relatives, etc – but the way this one came together worked so much better for me. I found the characters richer and more likeable.
I loved watching the family mysteries slowly unfold, the backdrop of history, and the romance. The narrative follows Lucy, who has spent the decade since her father’s somewhat mysterious death roaming the globe. After her mother has a minor accident, she comes home to visit and discovers some hidden documents in the house which leads her to discover an ancestor who has been forgotten for generations. I loved seeing the clues come together while Lucy also tries to decide between her long-time boyfriend and her now-back-in-town high school boyfriend. It’s really just a lovely, well-written, engrossing book.
Now I’m wondering what other authors I’ve mistakenly written off after one lousy book . . .