The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

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The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: This is a story which crosses generations (many) as well as continents (a couple). Persistent Lucy Jarrett stumbles across a couple of hidden objects as she spends a lazy day in her childhood home and she simply cannot rest until she puts all of the delicate pieces of this jig-saw back together again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 978-0670920235

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The book opens with a lovely and intriguing sentence - My name is Lucy Jarrett and before I knew about the girl in the window ... I found myself living in a village near the sea in Japan. Who could fail to be drawn into a story after reading that, I thought. I was hooked immediately. Edwards gives us a fleeting taste of life in Japan, particularly the importance (almost reverence) of nature and gardens, public and private. This sets the tone for the novel which is captivating and interesting, but put together beautifully, unhurried.

Lucy and her boyfriend Yoshi are intrepid travellers and are happy to be living and working in Japan - for now. You get the impression that things may change at a moment's notice. And in fact things do change - and soon. It's all set off by an a rather innocent email from Lucy's mother back home in a town called The Lake Of Dreams and which gives the book its title. I did think at first the name a tad airy-fairy, a bit insipid but fairly early on in the book Edwards obligingly tells her readers how the name came about. It's a lovely explanation and my faith was restored.

Lucy catches a plane and heads home. On the surface, I found this a little surprising. Her mother after all, is a healthy fiftysomething and there are other members of the Jarrett family living nearby. But then I could read between the lines and try to make sense of Lucy's hasty departure. Yoshi and Lucy's relationship has gone off the boil so some air miles between them would be no bad thing.

Water, unsurprisingly, is a constant theme running throughout. But it's subtle. It's not in your face as if the author was trying too hard. Edwards introduces many descriptive paragraphs and passages involving water in its various forms. There's a particularly memorable couple of lines involving a serious flood in Jakarta and it was so bad that ... fish were swimming in the flooded lawn ...

And as the adult Lucy takes up temporary residence once again in her childhood bedroom, it's almost as if she slips back in time into her old life too. The life where she was a carefree teenager. We even get to meet one of her old boyfriends from way back. Do they still have feelings for each other? Yoshi is thousands of miles away, after all. Lucy also catches up on all the local gossip and news that she feels she's been missing out on lately. It seems as if she's craving a simpler life or is it simply the grass always being greener ...?

As the plot develops we find out about the lives - the past lives - of other characters. The language used is lovely. It's smooth and apt. And the plot unfolds naturally and totally credibly. It's not rushed or stilted in any way. I absolutely loved Lucy. She's such a caring, thinking and inquisitive person. In keeping with the 'water' angle, the story ripples along nicely - from beginning to end like a babbling brook. Lovely. Highly recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appealsthen you might enjoy Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris.

Buy The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards at Amazon.com.


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