Looking for a novel to take on vacation with you this summer? The Lake House by Marci Nault might be just what you’re looking. The book begins by introduces you to Victoria Rose, a former actress/model who has come back to the town she grew up in and left years ago for a more exciting life. It becomes clear that Victoria has a lot of fences to mend as only one of her former friends seems excited at the prospect of her return. Her return is met with a very chilly response and as the book goes on, we learn more about what has created the rifts. We also learn about the highs (winning an Oscar and the exciting life she lead) in her life as well as the lows which include losing family members and a broken romance.
We also meet Heather Bregman, a young travel columnist who started out struggling and now feels conflicted on how much of her success is due to her own hard work and how much her fiancé contributed. She has been searching for some sense of home or belonging and thinks she finds it when she comes across a house in a lakefront town in Massachusetts. She thinks she’s found heaven, but her neighbors are seniors who mostly grew up in the area and hate the idea of younger people moving in and uprooting their lives. Heather sees them as stuck in their ways reminiscing about the war and the old times, but they are all worried about their children moving them into rest homes and losing their freedom and way of life.
Victoria and Heather have very parallel lives as they are both searching for something to fill the emptiness and prove themselves. They form a friendship that fuels the book and kept me turning the pages.
The one challenge about the book is the large cast of characters. It got confusing at times especially at the beginning when we learn vague details about Victoria’s family life. We know there is a tragedy, and we aren’t told the full story until the very end, but it seemed very odd that another crucial family member’s death is barely a footnote. Since this storyline was drawn out over the pages, it took longer to connect with the Victoria character and feel her pain. Her character is very complex and entertaining, so I was hooked once I knew more about her, but it seemed to take a while to get there. The character, Molly, is the glue that holds the story, and the characters, together. Molly’s scenes of reminiscing are skillfully done with wonderful musings and description.
The Lake House is perfect for a rainy summer day where you just want to get lost in a complex novel.