Author: Marci Nault
Published: Gallery Books; May 2013
Genre: Women's fiction
Synopsis: VICTORIA ROSE. Fifty years before, a group of teenage friends promised each other never to leave their idyllic lakeside town. But the call of Hollywood and a bigger life was too strong for Victoria . . . and she alone broke that pledge. Now she has come home, intent on making peace with her demons, even if her former friends shut her out. Haunted by tragedy, she longs to find solace with her childhood sweetheart, but even this tender man may be unable to forgive and forget.
HEATHER BREGMAN. At twenty-eight, after years as a globe-trotting columnist, she’s abandoned her controlling fiancé and their glamorous city life to build one on her own terms. Lulled by a Victorian house and a gorgeous locale, she’s determined to make the little community her home. But the residents, fearful of change and outsiders, will stop at nothing to sabotage her dreams of lakeside tranquility.
As Victoria and Heather become unlikely friends, their mutual struggle to find acceptance—with their neighbors and in their own hearts—explores the chance events that shape a community and offer the opportunity to start again.
My Take: Looking at this cover I knew this was a book I just had to read this summer (note that the day my reviews post and the day I finish the book are often far apart!). To me, this cover says laying by the beach reading a story about friends that grew up together. And that is what it is, but also it isn't. Are you confused yet?!
The Lake House is Marci Nault's debut novel and really focuses on the lives of two very different women who both find themselves living in the seemingly idyllic community of Nagog, MA. The first woman we meet is Victoria. She was raised in this community but left to find her own way and has now returned in her 70s to repair the friendships she hurt along the way. For some history on this community: it is a community of beautiful old homes that have been passed down among the same families for years, all centered around a lake. Where once it was a young community, full of families with kids, its now almost a retirement community as the older inhabitants decide they don't want to leave and their children have made lives elsewhere.
As a teenager, Victoria and her friends experienced the turmoil of WWII. However, it gave some of the inhabitants a feeling that there may be more to life than what could be found in this community. Victoria decided that for her, that meant moving to Hollywood and becoming a star. Her need to showcase her fabulous new life through the years to her friends from childhood didn't necessarily win her any favors. Now that she is older she realizes that these people are the true ones who care about her, however she is finding living back in the community isn't as welcoming as it once may have been.
One of the homes in Nagog has been sold to a newcomer though (much to the chagrin of many of the inhabitants). Its new owner, Heather, has no idea that she essentially bought a home in a retirement community. All she knows is she wants to live on a lake, away from her controlling fiance. Soon Victoria and her friend Molly, decide Heather needs some friends. While it may seem odd that a 30 something and a bunch of 70 year olds hang out, it is actually a pretty sweet friendship.
Overall, I found The Lake House to be a nice, entertaining read. For me, the novel may have been just a little too long. I knew pretty quickly how it was all going to shake out and while sometimes that can make for a fun, easy read, 400 pages is just too long.
Cover Lust: I ADORE this cover. It perfectly sets the stage for this novel.