Monday, July 8, 2013

Book Review: The Lake House by Marci Nault

Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 7, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 abandoned her controlling fiancĂ©; 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."
Fifty years ago, a group of good friends decided that they would always stay in their perfect lakeside community of Nagog.  Nagog is pretty much like Pleasantville. Everyone knows everyone and the houses are handed down from generation to generation.  Victoria Rose grew up there, but instead fled the community many years ago as a teenager for Hollywood and made it as a successful actress. Her friends never forgave her, except for Molly. She has since returned home to Nagog and is trying to get past all the events of her life that still haunt her.  However, she has come to find that her former friends aren't very accepting of her.  She's also haunted by her former flame who once proposed to her and she has never really gotten over him.  Meanwhile, a young writer, Heather Bregman, moves into one of the homes on the lake, which sends the community into an uproar as they definitely don't welcome newcomers.  Heather is looking to find a place she can call home, but the Nagog residents are anything but welcoming to her.  Thankfully, she has found a friend in Victoria and they both try to start over in their new lives. Marci Nault's debut novel, The Lake House, is a quintessential feel good read that made me want to cozy up with a blanket and a warm cup of tea.

Heather was an interesting character in The Lake House. On one hand, I liked that she was trying to move on from her manipulative fiancĂ©, but on the other hand, she was pretty immature and lacked confidence.  She grew up as the novel progressed and I ended up liking her more and more, especially her friendship with Victoria.  Victoria, even though she was a much older character, was really the star of the show for me in The Lake House. Her interesting career in Hollywood, the ups and downs of her life, her relationships, and her return home to Nagog were all captivating.  I wish I had a neighbor like Victoria.  But by no means has Victoria's life been a bowl full of cherries.  She has dealt with some sad turn of events and she returns home home with the hopes that she can finally heal in Nagog.  Even though Victoria and Heather seem like a "odd couple," they end up having much more in common than they thought and find solace in their unlikely friendship as they both aren't accepted initially into Nagog's community.

Let's talk about the setting of The Lake House. It was lovely and everything you would expect in a beautiful lakeside town.  I seriously want to move there and I'm not even a big fan of lakes, which demonstrates what a great job Nault did in describing it.  The residents of Nagog are just as interesting as the setting and it seems everyone has their own story and secrets.  One of my favorite characters was Heather's next door neighbor, a feisty older man who still has a lust for life.

One thing that I especially loved about The Lake House were the flashbacks to Victoria's childhood at Nagog, which seemed so very idyllic.  I loved learning more and more about her teenage years, what happened to her, and why she pretty much ran away from what essentially seems like the "perfect place."  The narration focuses on Heather and Victoria, but from time to time, it branched out to other Nagog residents, which I also really liked as it helped me to get to know the community.

The Lake House didn't set my world on fire by any means, but it was comforting and delightful, which make it a fantastic read to curl up with on a rainy summer day.

7 comments:

  1. The setting sounds fabulous - I used to go to the lake a lot when I was a kid (and loved it - I miss those trips), so I think I'd enjoy this book simply because of the setting!

    Great review :)

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    1. You would definitely enjoy the setting then, Lea! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. You're not a big fan of lakes? I picture you as a summer girl through and through, partial to any and all bodies of water. But just on ocean girl then? Victoria does sound like a fascinating character, I think I would thoroughly enjoy having a neighbor like her as well! Lovely review Christina:)

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    1. I LOVE the ocean and am very partial to it, but I am sure I could adapt to a lake. I haven't really had many opportunities to vacation at lake, but I am willing to try. ;) Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  3. I love the kind of summer read that deals with friendships through the ages via flashbacks. Sounds like I should check this one out!

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  4. Me too. It definitely spanned many years, which is totally my thing. I think you would like it, Leanna. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. This sounds like such an amazing story, especially for the summer. I really want to read this now, I love books about small towns and really growing. Thanks for the review, I can see myself loving this one :)

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I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

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