The Lake House

The Lake House

The Lake House

Author: Kate Morton

Review by Claire Chambers

To readers familiar with Kate Morton, the name will likely conjure thoughts of hidden mystery, a period setting and tightly-plotted writing. The Lake House, Morton’s latest, will not disappoint.

The Lake House is a hefty, sumptuous yarn. The book centres around the disappearance of eleven-month-old Theo Edevane from his family’s home in Cornwall in 1933. His sister Alice is a budding mystery writer, who feels that she may have reason to blame herself for what has happened. The novel jumps back and forth between time periods and brings in disgraced police officer Sparrow who investigates the case as well as Alice herself as an adult. We see the background leading up to the events of Theo’s disappearance, after Theo and Alice’s father returns from the war, suffering the after-effects of what he has seen. Their mother, Eleanor, is also hiding some secrets of her own.

The reader is caught up in this intricate tale, and the characters are crafted with fine brushstrokes, adding to the enjoyment of the story. Loeanneth is brilliantly brought to life by Morton’s descriptions and this is one aspect of the book that I liked. I would be keen to visit this place again, despite it being fictional.

Red herrings

The central aspect of the book, the question of what happened to Theo, drives the reader onto the finish and several red herrings crop up along the way. All the elements add up to classic Kate Morton – except that I finished the book feeling that I hadn’t enjoyed it as much as her earlier works.

One area that I did feel let down by was the ending. The conclusion seemed quite convoluted and appeared intended to tie everything up too neatly, leaving the reader feeling underwhelmed. Morton seems to take her time setting everything up, and for what? It also seemed too coincidental as certain situations were unrealistic and would only occur in melodrama. This is a shame as I feel the book had an interesting set-up which the ending does not really satisfy.

Despite this, The Lake House is still worth reading, if not least for the journey that Kate Morton takes you on (again).

Review by Claire Chambers

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