Sarah Addison Allen
St. Martin’s Press, January 21st 2014
Hardcover, 304 Pages
by Allie Burke
I was really disappointed with this book. Not because it is bad or even that I didn’t like the characters; but it was so normal. Too normal. Lost Lake is a book that Kate Morton or Jane Green would write, which again, is not bad; I read Kate Morton or Jane Green. When I’m in the mood for Kate Morton or Jane Green. But I was in the mood for Sarah Addison Allen, and this was not a Sarah Addison Allen book.
I get veering from your course as an author because you’re on to better things (I’ve done it) or even Sarah Addison Allen’s heartbreaking and unique case, writing a book post-cancer-diagnosis-and-treatment. So I feel bad about being disappointed, but I am, and it’s either because cancer changes perceptions (this was the first book Allen wrote after her public battle with cancer) or Sarah Addison Allen decided to stop writing magical books (which can’t really be true because First Frost came after this and I loved it). I know I’m not supposed to review the author. I’m sorry. I’m just bummed that my favorite author and inspiration—the author whose new book you buy even before you know what it is about—has written this. She’s better than this. I know; I’ve read all of her books.
Anyway. Lost Lake. Kate’s husband Matt dies and she takes her daughter Devin to her great aunt’s property where there is an alligator who used to be a little boy and where Kate’s first love Wes is waiting for her. It sounds like a Sarah Addison Allen book, but I assure you it is not. The magic in all of Allen’s stories is missing; there are no mood-altering flowers or person-chasing books. It’s a mundane child’s imagination and Wes’s character is underdeveloped, so much that I really didn’t care about him at all. I was happy it was over when it was and just kind of shrugged at the end. It took me a really a long time to get through this—like, months. I make it sound awful, but it’s really not, for someone who is not expecting that Sarah Addison Allen flair. But for someone who is, you will probably be sorely disappointed. Luckily, life gets better. Like I said First Frost was released after Lost Lake and it is so much better (especially if you’ve read Garden Spells).
If you want a random cute love story you might like it. True Sarah Addison Allen fans, though, would be better off skipping this one.
A Bestselling Author, NPO Director, and Psychology Today Columnist from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.
Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.
From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.