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The Lake of Dead Languages

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  8,734 Ratings  ·  830 Reviews
Jane Hudson never thought she would return to Heart Lake. Her years there as a scholarship girl ended in a fatal and mysterious double tragedy.

Now she is back, struggling to adjust to her new life teaching Latin and as a single mother. But the events that haunted her memories for so many years begin to recur in front of her eyes. It seems she alone can see what is happenin
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Paperback, 440 pages
Published January 2nd 2003 by Arrow (first published 2002)
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Kate
Oct 08, 2007 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hmm. One of those books you want to be done with but have to finish to see how it ends. Kind of a thriller, kind of a mystery. The narrator is a former student of all-girls' school Heart Lake who comes back to teach Latin as an adult. In her time there as a student, both of her roommates committed suicide, and now someone seems to be recreating this past aggressively and accusatorily (I may have made this word up; if not, I spelled it wrong). This novel was like an overstuffed sandwich with too ...more
Amy
Oh, wow...where to begin. There were elements of this book that I wanted to give 5 stars. The story, the plot, the intertwining of characters and their histories. A nice reveal at the end (although it was very predictable). The problem was the pacing. I felt like I was reading the book f...o...r...e...v...e...r. At one point I actually stared at the page number, 287, and could not believe there were STILL 100 more pages to go. Too much detail and description when it was way beyond the need for s ...more
Blair
A '9 out of 10' book - it won't be added to my list of ultimate favourites, but it was the best thing I've read for a long time. I love stories of this ilk, and The Lake of Dead Languages has everything; flashbacks to the narrator's intriguing past, buried (or rather drowned) secrets refusing to stay that way, a boarding school housed in an old mansion, parallels with classical mythology, pagan rites and ice storms. I found Jane likeable from the start, and it was easy to sympathise with her as ...more
Amy
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I really enjoyed it. This book, overall, is well written with a descriptive, atmospheric prose and a touch of gothic undertones to make it just dark enough for me to love. Composed of secrets, lies, suicide, murder and revenge; Goodman brilliantly weaves layers into the plot that kept me engaged until the end. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Barbara
May 10, 2011 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know why I picked up this book, but it must have been based on a bookseller’s recommendations. I had no idea what to expect, but the book quickly drew me in. The protagonist, Jane Hudson, has taken refuge from her failed marriage by returning to her former boarding school in upstate New York. Pieces of the journal she kept during her senior year start appearing, reminding her of the tragedies 20 years ago – her roommate’s suicide, and then the other roommate and her brother drowning in t ...more
Oroboros72
This is the first Carol Goodman book that I read, and despite myself I read two of her others even after being so irritated with this one. And I felt the exact same way about all of them. They all have great symbolism, exciting twists, interesting layers of metaphor and intertwined stories. And they are all utterly ruined by Goodman not giving her reader any credit whatsoever. When you almost have that satisfied 'Ah, I have figured something out' or 'ah, that symbol has reappeared here' She slam ...more
Chloe (thelastcolour)
Dec 30, 2016 Chloe (thelastcolour) rated it really liked it
“Spirit of the Lake, we come here in the spirit of friendship. We don’t ask for special protection”...”All we ask is that whatever happens to one of us, let happen to all of us.”

Many times, whilst reading this book, I had to place ‘The Lake of Dead Languages’ down in front of me and just stare into the distance. It was eerie and gritty and raw and the characters felt so vivid and real. This book was set at an all girls boarding school called ‘Heart Lake.’ This is a school that was built besi
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Dardenitaaa
Aug 12, 2011 Dardenitaaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
An all girls’ school. A Latin Class. A troubled magistra with a shady alumna past. Students writing Latin phrases on their arms and razor-slicing their wrists open. Stolen Diaries. Secret Pregnancies. Taboo Love. Suicide on ice, water and dorm rooms. Academic Pressures. Friendships gone wrong. Ghost lakes and tragic folklore. History Repeating itself.

Relax, I’m not spoiling the entire book yet. If you’re a fan of mysteries with gothic touches, and thought the themes I just listed above sounded e
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Darren L.
Jun 06, 2011 Darren L. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm only about 20% into this novel, but I'm already impressed by the seemingly effortless but genuinely elegant prose. This lady can write. Several of the characters (in both the past and in the present) reach their hands up from the page and become spooky real. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't fall apart as I go farther.

***Okay, finished it. Interestingly enough, there were so many people who compared this to The Secret History that I read it too. Oddly enough, I liked Carol Goodman's Th
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Renee
Jul 18, 2010 Renee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Goodman's writing, but I had to remove stars because I figured out all of the plot twists before they happened, which made for a bit of an anticlimactic ending. I spent the second half of the book wanting to shake Jane and say "REALLY?! This is painfully obvious!!!" I really can't say if this predictability is due to Goodman's inadequacies or my teenage tendency to read V.C. Andrews books. Things that Goodman seems to consider shocking were really pretty tame compared to what An ...more
Blake
Aug 28, 2011 Blake rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first of this author's that I had read- and I loved it. It had all the elements of what makes a good eerie mystery novel- for women. I can't really see myself recommending this to a man. That's not being sexist but it's easy to explain. Lead female character flees with 4 year old child to former boarding school set in brooding frozen upper New York isolated country to teach LATIN (of all things) in hot house atmosphere of teenage girls performing fake Goddess rituals that involve cu ...more
Madeline
Sep 27, 2008 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A modern Gothic mystery - reminds me of The Secret History.
(well, technically, I read this one first, so I should say The Secret History reminded me of this book. But same difference.) Bottom line: both are incredibly creepy and really good reads.
Eileen
Sep 29, 2011 Eileen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, mystery, read-2011
This is one of those books I wanted to be done with, but I also wanted to find out the truth behind the events. It's an eerie and cold mystery novel that deals with memories, death, loss and guilt. Not a book I would have chosen for myself to read, but I always like a challenge.I want to thank my Goodreads friend Jen for trying to broaden my horizons by giving me this book and sharing a book with me that she obviously enjoyed reading.

During our senior year Lucy Toller was sent to the infirmary
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verbava
одного прекрасного дня джейн, головна героїня "озера мертвих мов", розуміє, що їй нікуди йти ("кому, думаєш, ти потрібна з твоєю магістеркою з латини?"), і повертається у свою стару школу – тепер уже як викладачка. це, звісно, не те місце, куди дуже хотілось би повернутися, бо там занадто багато страшних спогадів, але коли поведінка твого чоловіка все більше нагадує хрестоматійні приклади психологічного насильства, особливо вибирати не доводиться.
проте вже наприкінці першого розділу джейн почина
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Lada Moskalets
Jan 20, 2016 Lada Moskalets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Не могла відірватися, проковтнула за три дні.
тут є все, що миле серцю любителям похмурих головоломок і готичної атмосфери - школа-пансіон на березі озера, розлогі цитати з латини, похмурі сімейні таємниці, незайманки-самогубці і ненезайманки-самогубці, містичні легенди і роздуми про нещасну долю гуманітарія. можливо аж забагато, бо під кінець я відчувала себе, наче переїла десертів.
Сюжетна лінія хитро закручена, але десь із середини книжки я вже вгадувала ходи, і під кінець вгадала головну стр
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Suzanna Tempesta
Mar 19, 2013 Suzanna Tempesta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A book that starts off really good, and ends up...just bad.
Voice and Overall
I really liked the hook of the Latin classes, and I thought the beginning was good also. But after the introduction of all the characters, there was a big, and I mean big, downturn in the quality of the book.
At some point I felt like I was reading a chick-flick; with all that nonsense about hiding her diary and being worried about what Myra Todd (I think that's what her name was) would say. Another big thing I didn't li
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Lauren
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Athena
Jan 14, 2017 Athena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny
Jul 05, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cate
Apr 12, 2010 Cate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this over my spring break senior year of Kenyon, so perhaps I have fond memories of that time, all alone on campus except for a few other people who couldn't pull their comps together. When I'd made especially good progress researching and writing, I'd go to the bookstore (alas--best bookstore in the world done to death by new corportate college president who removed the kiddie tower, the used books, and the fairy tale character banners!) and read The Lake of Dead Languages.
Basically, I
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Annabelle
Oct 31, 2015 Annabelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. What really works for me is an author who doesn’t have hubris about how good he or she is, and uses old formulas. Author Carol Goodman has respect for the reader and takes care in the detail of her settings, carefulness with her plot and substantive character development. The plot is a mirror of a triad of girls at an isolated girls’ in the woods of Northern New York State, one 20 years ago, and one contemporary. Jane is the central character, and she was part of the triad twe ...more
Alisea
Apr 29, 2013 Alisea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il lago delle lingue morte

Nel nord-est degli Stati Uniti, fra i monti dell’Adirondack, vicino alla cittadina di Corinth, c’è un lago: Heart Lake. D'inverno la sua superficie si cristallizza completamente, tra gemiti e stridori delle molecole dell’acqua che diventano ghiaccio. Su una delle sue sponde sorge una villa. Un tempo era abitata dalla famiglia dei “signori” del luogo, i Cravecoeur, ma poi la loro figlia minore era morta in seguito ad una brutta influenza causata da una caduta in acqua, e
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April
May 21, 2012 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I would highly recommend The Lake of Dead Languages. It's tense, atmospheric, and an overall good read if you enjoy Gothic suspense; the author's descriptions of places and people leave just enough to the imagination to make reading the book absolutely enjoyable.

However, there are a few downsides to the book. I would have to say that if you are at all struggling with depression, self injury, or suicidal tendencies (or anything related to those three), then this is a book that you should
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Doreen
Aug 23, 2012 Doreen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, this book deserves 3.5 stars, and if I weren't such a hardcore mystery aficionado, it would have earned 4. Carol Goodman writes with elegance, working in her plot twists with exquisite timing, lacing her narrative with just enough misdirection to make you second-guess your assumptions. Her plotting is Gothic and literate, and were I newer to mysteries or crime, I am sure I would have loved this book as opposed to merely liking it. Alas, and as is always detrimental to my appreciation of ...more
Lori
Oct 27, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a suspenseful, easy to read, novel that will keep you turning pages. Carol Goodman is an excellent writer that uses visual imagery paticularly well. The reader is easily able to conjure up the Adirondack setting of Heart Lake Academy for Girls with bone chilling detail especially the descriptions of the lake freezing and the sounds the ice makes. Kudo's to Goodman who explains in the back of my edition her studies and inquiries into the process a lake goes through in the freezing process ...more
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
I really enjoyed this gothic page-turner. Goodman is a fantastic, atmospheric writer, even if she does over-rely on a few techniques: characters are constantly paling or blushing; shadows are constantly splitting off from rocks.

In the last few chapters, my attention attenuated a bit, since I'd solved all the mystery elements (thanks to her skilled deployment of dramatic irony) much, much sooner than the narrator, who's, shall we say, not the sharpest tool in the shed.

The ending was a little pat
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Jake Rideout
Jul 13, 2009 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Night Villa, Carol Goodman's most recent thriller, is one of my favorite books to recommend. I was expecting this one to be similar--and it was, in that I couldn't put it down. Otherwise, though Goodman's style is completely different (and just as good): this is a novel about a woman, Jane, who leaves her husband and takes a position at her old boarding school to teach Latin. A few weeks into the semester, she opens her homework folder and finds a page torn from the journal she kept during h ...more
Jaksen
Jan 09, 2014 Jaksen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Extremely convoluted. A lot of the 'scenes' or situations almost totally unbelievable. I can't imagine the plotting this author did to get everything figured out. She must have had notes upon notes and graphs and diagrams with arrows going all which-way. First, to have two separate stories to contend with, which sort of mirror one another was hard to follow, let alone figure out. The shifting from past to present tense was also confusing as it happened here and there, made no sense. Then we get ...more
Sabra
Jul 14, 2014 Sabra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The main character was completely thick. I don't understand why everyone was so enamored of Lucy, she was basically a pretty girl, but a bit of a sociopath. And the dim, but well-intentioned main character just lumbers along, doing stupid things, believing stupid things, and basically being completely clueless about anything.

The author hits us over the head with a completely obvious "bad guy" but the main and supporting characters are all too thick to see it. And if all that wasn't bad enough, t
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Michelle
Aug 29, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: entitle, reviewed, 2015
I liked it. It's a re-read for me, and I didn't love it like I remembered from the first time. It was, to be fair, many years ago when I read it and my life is very different now. It's an interesting book. Part mystery, part romance, all dramatic and overly complicated with a gothic feel. It made me want to learn Latin.

What I did like: weaving the past and the present together. The Latin. The boarding school setting. What I didn't like: the overly obtuse main character. Really? You can't figure
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18130
Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, the Watchtower Trilogy(with husband Lee Slonimsky), and the young adult Blythewood series. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in A ...more
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“There’s always that first step in skating, from dry ground to slick ice, when it just seems impossible. Impossible that two thin blades of metal will support you, impossible that because its molecules have begun to dance a little slower water will hold you up.” 16 likes
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