Read the full review on Tales Between the Pages
I’ve been a big Sarah Addison Allen fan since I read “Garden Spells” several years ago so it was a no-brainer for me to accept the ARC of her newest novel offered by NetGalley. “Lost Lake” is beautifully crafted and I devoured every word. Sometimes you come across a book that speaks to you at exactly the right moment in your life. “Lost Lake” is about loss and healing, which are two subjects I’m grappling with in my personal life. It helped me center myself and realize that we have the ability to change our own endings and that life will eventually be OK again.
Magical realism permeates this text, as it does in all of Sarah Addison Allen’s work. As a general rule, there needs to be more magical realism in this world. I think it allows adults to experience whimsy in a way that doesn’t threaten their reality. It’s not a fantasy novel. It’s a novel about true-to-life situations with a touch of *something* that makes you wonder if coincidence is really just the universe giving you a little magic in your life. I think that’s why Devin is such an important character. Children are often more perceptive than we give them credit for. We try to hide our feelings from them to keep them safe, but they know. They always know. Devin is no different. She know that her mother isn’t “awake,” she knows she sees an alligator nobody else sees, and she knows that they belong at Lost Lake. Finding the Alligator Box brought her mother and Wes together and saved Lost Lake from the hands of a developer. Who says that children can’t handle the life things we try to shield them from?
In all, I loved “Lost Lake.” It centered my personal feelings on loss and gave me some clarity about how (not) to grieve. I highly recommend it for fans of Sarah Addison Allen, fans of magical realism, and fans of reading about the way disparate characters come together to create a truly amazing community based on shared experience.