A few years ago before we all went on our respective summer holidays, it came out that nearly every female in my family had bought one of the same novels to take along with us; The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. It wasn't that weird, I think it was like a Richard and Judy Book Club sort of deal when they were still relevant, but the point of this now rather long winded story is that we all saved this book, excited to read it, and then when we did it just didn't live up to the hype that we'd given it. Still, when The Lake Of Dreams by Edwards landed in my hands, I have to say I was excited - would this be the missing puzzle piece, would it be everything that I had wanted from The Memory Keeper's Daughter? I sat down to read and find out.
The Lake Of Dreams follows the life of Lucy, a girl who returns from what seems like a lifetime of living abroad in order to check in on her other after a fall. Leaving her boyfriend behind in Japan, she comes back to the small town in which her father died - but when she finds letters and secrets hidden in the house, she quickly realises that everything she knew about the life that she had when she lived her before might not be true. Throw in some serious ex boyfriend drama and some stained glass windows with a history closely tied to her own, and it's clear that Lucy won't be leaving The Lake Of Dreams as the same person that she arrived.
The book is well written and beautiful, and although it's very complicated with it's delicate family tree that needs to be in the right places in your head in order for the story to work - its captivating, and everything that I felt that The Memory Keeper's Daughter was lacking. Beyond her family history, the story tackles the idea of coming home and facing things that you've been running from from for longer than you might like to imagine. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking in the same breath, and it's a book that really stayed with me, even as I moved onto my next offering.
All in all - I think the blurb of this book didn't do it justice. Far from being the chick flick that I imagined, this is a deep, well thought out and beautifully written book from Edwards - and it's even made me consider going back to The Memory Keeper's Daughter to try it out again now that I'm older and (potentially ever so slightly) wiser. This is definitely one I'd recommend to add to your to-read pile though; it's one that you'll want your mum to read after you, and it's definitely one that will leave you thinking that just because life doesn't go how we expected it to, that doesn't mean that it's not going how it's supposed to.
What have you been reading lately that you'd recommend?
If you liked this you might like: Severed Heads, Broken Hearts Book Review