Lake Overturn: A Novel
Eula, Idaho, is a cluster of steeples, oak trees, and boxlike homes sandwiched between golden fields and a wide-open sky. It freezes in the winter and bakes in the summer, but the air is so dry that neither extreme gets under your skin. It has never seen a battle, or an earthquake, or a Democrat in City Hall.
Still, life in Eula is anything but simple.
Lina and Connie are s...more
McIntyre brings to life an entire town in Idaho over the course of a year in the mid-1980s. I'm amazed at his powers of observation -- and the even-handed way he presents so many different types of people: a Mexican woman and the Mormon man whose house she cleans; her two sons, one gay and one a bully; the Christian mom in the trailer next door, whose own ...more
The story is about a small town in Idaho where the peo ...more
I can thank Vestal McIntyre for writing such a gripping book and restoring my faith that I, too, can read fiction.
I got frustrated (but was still gripped) towards the end when skipping between character plots bec ...more
For me, Lake Overturn is very describable, and I'd use the same words I used to describe it's author. Unassuming: the novel is seemingly a quite simple collection of stories, set in a small, Idaho town, over the course of a about a year. Funny: the novel is dark b ...more
Copy provided by publisher.
Connie is a nurses aide who cares ...more
Reading this, I kept thinking of Dan Chaon's books and stories, which are set in a very similar world. Chaon's stuff is weirder and ...more
by Vestal McIntyre
Harper, 444 pages, $24.99
Nampa, Idaho native Vestal McIntyre packs the life of a whole town into his accomplished debut novel, "Lake Overturn", set in the fictional Eula, outside of Boise. The characters are fresh and distinct with richly imagined inner lives, and they intersect with each other in unexpected ways.
McIntyre writes about people in every level of Eula society with sensitivity and insight, from Abby Hall, the privileged Stanford-boun ...more
After finishing I still don't know what everyone was raving about. The characters were flat. ...more
Lake overturn is a phenomena where carbon dioxide collects at the bottom of a lake and finally bubbles up to the surface, where it escapes and can kill anybody in its path. This, essentially, is what the story is ...more
Enrique, his mother and brothe ...more
I think back on this novel so often as I read other great books, that I had to return and give it 5 stars, even though I wouldn't necessarily call it a "favorite". Below is my original August 2009 review:
This is a beautiful novel, definitely in the top tier. I was so immediately captivated by the story, I finished it one day. While not one of my absolute favorites, if I could, I would give it 4.5 stars. The book’s narrative reminded me of great ensemble acting in movies with ...more
There was nothing earth shattering or enlightening here and the metaphor of the toxic lake was "piqueing" to my interest but it just didn't do that much for me. I think the author was trying to cover too many bases here and it read a little bit like a soap opera.
Lake Overtun is an easy read b ...more
However, if I were to be fair this is proably a 3 start book.
Writing from the POV of something like nine characters is perhaps over-reaching. I enjoyed each person's story and I appreciate that ...more
Set in a typical Small Town, USA (Eula, Idaho), the reader is introduced to myriad personalities, each of whom the author gently breaths life into until you feel like you've known them your whole life. The story itself evokes themes of striving for ...more
After reading Vestal McIntyre's short story collection, I had to read LAKE OVERTURN. And what a read. An entire town is exposed and the people in it. The characters ...more
Lake Overturn: A Novel was published by HarperCollins in April, 2009. The Washington Post said, "In Lake Overturn, McIntyre has created a vast, intricate lattice of relationships, reminiscent of the novels of Richard Russo....Here is an au ...more