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The Lake of Dreams

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3.16  ·  Rating Details ·  10,565 Ratings  ·  1,839 Reviews
Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade earlier. She returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secr ...more
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Viking (first published November 23rd 2010)
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Gina Yes. It starts out in Japan and there are many small earthquakes, but it's not *about* earthquakes and once the setting changes, the earthquakes are…moreYes. It starts out in Japan and there are many small earthquakes, but it's not *about* earthquakes and once the setting changes, the earthquakes are never brought up again.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lormac
Feb 17, 2011 Lormac rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated-it
This book is awful. Let me count the ways...
I hate books where the characters act nothing like real people, and this book is a prime example of that failing. If you lived away from home for five + years and returned for an extended visit, and immediately pissed off your brother (who never left, by the way) by telling your mother that his girlfriend was pregnant after he specifically asked you not to do so, would you call him at 1:00 am when you knew he was sleeping next to the prgenant girlfrien
...more
Lauren
Feb 08, 2011 Lauren rated it did not like it
I received this book through Goodreads First Read contest. Thankfully I didn't spend any money on it! I have to be honest and say that I was pretty disappointed in this book. It was hard to believe the same author that wrote my beloved “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” wrote this…this…boring crap of a book. Well, maybe the word “crap” is a little harsh. The book did get a lot of good reviews so it could just be me and my crazy opinions. I just could NOT get into the story at all. I found myself pra ...more
Arah-Lynda
Jun 29, 2015 Arah-Lynda rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-said
This book, while brimming with possibility, is a promise unfulfilled.

A young woman, Lucy, returns from Japan to her upstate New York home, actually a Victorian mansion by The Lake of Dreams, a place from which she has distanced herself since her father’s death. As she adjusts to the changes about her she finds some old documents in a locked window seat, documents that soon reveal an unknown family history.

Having once discovered the old documents Lucy then shares her find with her Mother who jus
...more
Johanna
Mar 25, 2011 Johanna rated it really liked it
I love Ms. Edwards lyrical and descriptive language. Every scene is brilliantly painted. Her story was riveting - flowing between past and present with complete ease. I was probably most intrigued by the discovery of old letters and the main character's (Lucy's) journey to decipher the author's (fascinating) story.

But this book has so many components beyond that. There is the veil of mystery surrounding Lucy's father's death, her residual feelings for her first love, her feeling for her current
...more
Jackie
Jan 11, 2011 Jackie rated it it was ok
I wish I had liked this book better. It held some promise, at the beginning. But finally, after having persevered and doggedly pursued the end, I mostly just felt let down.

I didn't read The Memory Keeper's Daughter - I kept picking it up, and thinking, maybe, but then putting it back on the shelf at the library. And I almost wish I had done that with this book. It has received mostly good reviews. But.....

1. This story seems like one I've read a million times before. Nothing remarkable, earth sh
...more
Jeannine
Feb 15, 2011 Jeannine rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I made it to about page 100 before giving up.

The author had too many subjects in this book; women's suffrage, Vietnam war, environmentalism are just a few of The Big Issues she tried to weave into a cohesive story that really dragged especially when you add in family secrets, mysterious stained glass windows and letters, a family locksmith business, and a confused young woman poking around in all of it.

The author's previous works (Secrets of a Fire King and The Memory-Keeper's Daughter) were mu
...more
Rebecca
Oct 29, 2011 Rebecca rated it liked it
I had a serious love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the family-history part of the story, both the suffragette's actual story, and how the protagonist traces this forgotten branch of the family through historical archives (what can I say? That sort of thing is crack to a librarian). I also loved the colorful settings and activities the author used and described.

I hated the protagonist, though. Her arrogance, self-centeredness, and sense of entitlement beggared belief for a 29-year-old
...more
Jennifer Rayment
Jan 04, 2011 Jennifer Rayment rated it really liked it
The Good Stuff

Wonderful realistic characters
Author really understands the inner workings of a family and its dynamics
I really understood Lucy's need to understand about her family history
Fascinating information and history and the portrayal of women in organized religion
Loved the character of the priest Suzi and her conversations with Keegan. If she was real, I would actually go to church
I was totally engrossed in the mystery of Rose and Iris and I think I wanted to find out the truth as much as
...more
Sidna
Mar 10, 2012 Sidna rated it did not like it
I totally agree with another reviewer said this book is "awful." That was the only word I could think of to describe it.

Edwards' first book, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, was o.k. Not my favorite book, but worth reading. Edwards wrote a draft of this book long before she wrote her first published book. After Memory Keeper was published, she pulled it out and reworked it. She should have left it in the drawer.

Recently, I attended a literary luncheon with brief talks by three authors. Edwards was
...more
Kerry
May 09, 2016 Kerry rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written book that pulls you into the world of Lucy Jarrett and the Lake of Dreams her childhood home. A story about life, choices, grief, love, friendship, hidden mysteries, history, women's suffrage, the past meeting the present, secrets and a truth that must come to light.
It's a book that carries you away into another world and you feel bereft when you leave. It's hard to put down especially as the story unfolds and things long hidden start to be revealed. A wonderful read.
Kristen
May 17, 2011 Kristen rated it did not like it
To be honest, I didn't finish the book, but in all fairness I wanted to quit about five pages in and gave it my best effort. 200 pages later, I finally succumbed to rational thought and replaced this time-suck with something else. I've read The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Secrets of the Fireking, both of which I remember being interesting and well-told. So much so in fact that I have been eagerly awaiting Kim Edward's newest book for two years. Two years, I have searched the Fiction shelves ...more
Britany
Aug 27, 2013 Britany rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Hidden Letters, a father's unexplained death, and stain glass artwork are the three main points that echo throughout this book.

Lucy Jarrett comes home to visit her family at the Lake of Dreams. While there, she faces her past head on. Her high school love, Keegan, and the unexplained death of her father. She discovers some hidden letters in an old window seat and that leads her on a journey through her family's history, uncovering a secret that is fighting to be freed.

I was expecting so much mor
...more
Blair
The Lake of Dreams is about, and narrated by, 29-year-old Lucy Jarrett. After the trauma of losing her father, who drowned when she was a teenager, Lucy left her hometown behind to go to university and travel the world. At the start of the book, news of her mother suffering an accident prompts her to leave the home she shares in Japan with her boyfriend, Yoshi, and return to her family in America. There, she discovers a package of old pamphlets and letters hidden beneath a window seat. These con ...more
Lauren
Sep 30, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok
Ugh. Just... ugh.

It started off beautifully.
And then...
-The characters were tedious.
-The dialogue was tedious, indeed. (In contemporary America, do people seriously use "Indeed" commonly when they talk to each other? It seemed to be used so much in this book, it might as well have been slang.)
-Continuity errors with dates, the family lineage.

But most of all...

I could care less about the "protagonist." Lucy was a selfish, condescending well-to-do.
From the trivial details:
Her niece expresses exci
...more
Susanhayeshotmail.com
May 24, 2011 Susanhayeshotmail.com rated it it was ok
Apparently I had The Memory Keeper's Daughter confused with a book I liked better because I remember being quite happy to get my hands on The Lake of Dreams because it was by the same author. I didn't hate it and I did finish it but I was not completely captivated. Actually, I was kind of captivated by the main character's genealogical sleuthing and her family's past but something, or some things, just annoyed me. As in Memory Keeper's I just never really felt engaged with any of the characters. ...more
Tamela
Apr 04, 2011 Tamela rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book because I enjoyed "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," but, alas, it was not to be. The writing was heavy-handed, the plot--not terribly compelling to begin with--plodded, and the characters were so numerous they became one-dimensional in order to cram them all into the story. I wish the author had spent more time making the historical events come to life and less time waxing rhapsodic about the stillness of the night air and the ripples on the lake water.

For me, the
...more
Deb
Nov 29, 2011 Deb rated it did not like it
I don't often write reviews but this book is truly painful. I liked Memory Keepers Daughter (although anyone I recommended it to cursed me). The main character here is one of the most annoying in any book I've ever read...self indulgent and self centered. I haven't even finished the book but don't know whether to go on. Lucy is so distasteful that I don't care what happens to her or the mystery she's uncovered. The book drags on with endless description about things that don't matter at all like ...more
Cheri
Jan 20, 2011 Cheri rated it it was amazing
oH, WHAT A BOOK!!!! I realized finally that I couldn't get into the book iniitially because I was trying to read in the hospital as my husaband was having surgery. Not the best place to begin a book. Finally, however, I was able to concentrate. So glad that I was.....the characters in this book are people I would want to meet.....people with whom I would want to spend time.
Bre Teshendorf
Sep 11, 2014 Bre Teshendorf rated it did not like it
Wow.... This was one of the worst books I have ever read. I didn't finish it... I couldn't. I was trying to force myself and I suddenly realized how stupid that was. Why waste my time?

Reasons I didn't like this book.
1. Uninteresting story line. The "mystery" that the main character uncovers, isn't mysterious enough to hold my attention. It is dull, lacking drama or luster, romance, exciting historical relevance, seriously, "eh."

2. I found this book to be badly written.
Examples
A. The author men
...more
Lori Anaple
Jan 16, 2013 Lori Anaple rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Oct 03, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
DISCLAIMER: This is the first book that I have ever read by Kim Edwards and it might be my last, let me explain...

First of all, this should of been a book that I enjoyed thoroughly. It's about a young woman named Lucy Jarrett who's about to turn 30 and is at a major cross roads in her life. When her mom gets into a car accident, she goes home to visit, and discovers a family secret that has never been uncovered before. Sounds good, right? I thought so too at the time.

Secondly, the book takes pl
...more
Jim
Jan 22, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, ebooks, fiction
When I sit down with a new book and think for a moment of the characters and settings and plots that I hope to soon encounter, I wonder how close the book will be to some unquantifiable ideal that I have. And after two DNFs in a row, I was beginning to worry. And then I cracked open this one, and this is the sort of book that I wish every book could be. The characters are terrific and have just enough in the way of flaws, but the novel is not entirely character-driven; there is actually a decent ...more
Kelly
Feb 06, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
We meet Lucy and her boyfriend “Yoshi” in the midst of slew of aftershocks that are hitting Japan. First of all, really? “Yoshi?” Did Ms. Edwards look to an aging Mario Brothers game for names? Next, being from southern California and having experienced 2 major quakes and countless smaller quakes, I can tell you, you don’t contemplate life and/or death as is described in the first chapter of this book. The first chapter almost killed the book for me in fact.

Lucy travels home to The Lake of Dream
...more
Diane
Jan 04, 2011 Diane rated it really liked it
I was anxious to read Kim Edward's latest release after having enjoyed her debut novel The Memory Keeper's Daughter, some five years earlier. In her latest novel, Lucy Jarrett, the novel's protagonist, had been living in Japan with her boyfriend Yoshi, an architect. Some ten years earlier, the summer before Lucy was leaving for college, her father had drowned in a boating accident back home in Lake of Dreams, New York. Lucy has blamed herself from time to time for her father's death, because he ...more
Marianne Burbank
Apr 06, 2013 Marianne Burbank rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book and could not put it down. It was full of family, secrets, suspense and history, including that of the suffragette movement. Since I hail from old New England family and have just recently learned that my grandmother was a suffragette, and we also had our nearly 200 year old family homestead pass out of the family in 2007 and had to clean out 200 years worth of treasures, I could relate to this story on many levels. There is even a family connection with Asia with my ...more
Cathy/The Crazy Bookworm
Dec 30, 2010 Cathy/The Crazy Bookworm rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is intense but in a fantastic way. Kim Edwards pulls you in and doesn't let you go. I immediately fell in love with her writing style. She was descriptive and detailed but it wasn't over done, it flowed nicely. This is my first book by Kim Edwards, but it won't be my last!

The characters were perfect, it was small cast which made it easy to build a connection with each character. The author created such riveting and interesting characters they made it much harder to put the book do
...more
Kay
Jun 16, 2011 Kay rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Unlike everyone else on Goodreads, I didn't read the Memory Keeper's Daughter so I had no particular expectations. In fairness, I would probably give this a 3.5. The mystery in the narrator's past is awfully confusing until I found the family tree at the very end of the book--it involves one of those families where all the firstborn sons share the SAME name for 4 generations, argh! Why do authors do this?
Leaving that aside, I found the thread involving a fictional Art Nouveau stained glass artis
...more
Carol
Feb 01, 2012 Carol rated it it was ok
I wanted to love this book. The premise intrigued me: I live in Rochester, NY and have traveled extensively through the Finger Lakes region. I am fascinated by our local history, particularly the central role this region played in the suffrage movement. However, something was really 'off' with this story. I never really connected with the main character. She seemed flat, and her single-minded obsession with Rose did not come across as believable. The Rose/Iris story had way too many side charact ...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
Lucy Jarrett has been living overseas for several years, most recently in Japan with her partner Yoshi. She is unsettled, looking for direction in her life. On hearing of her mother’s minor accident, she returns home to The Lake of Dreams, where her thoughts turn back to her father’s mysterious death several years ago. Whilst wondering around the large old family home one night unable to sleep, she discovers items that are actually family heirlooms and papers relating to suffragettes, which all ...more
Nicole R
Sep 09, 2012 Nicole R rated it really liked it
Having really enjoyed The Memory Keeper's Daughter, I anxiously awaited her follow-up novel, and Lake of Dreams doesn't disappoint. In fact, it far exceeded my expectations.

Lucy Jarrett is a wanderer. Ever since he father died 10 years ago, she has moved from country to country, seeking fulfilling work and interesting people. Over the past couple of years, she has settled down in Japan with her boyfriend, Yoshi, but a trip back home to Lake of Dreams, NY, stirs up all of the memories she thought
...more
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Date inconsistencies SPOILER ALERT 4 68 Mar 17, 2013 12:27PM  
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Kim Edwards grew up in Skaneateles, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The oldest of four children, she graduated from Colgate University and the University of Iowa, where she received an MFA in Fiction and an MA in Linguistics. After completing her graduate work, she went with her husband to Asia, where they spent the next five years teaching, first on the rural east coast of Mala ...more
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“The challenges in this place are real and sometimes very difficult, but I've learned to slow down and look for beauty in my days, for the mysteries and blessings woven into everything, into the very words we speak.” 8 likes
“Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too. It was humbling to consider all these authors, struggling with this word or that phrase, recording their thoughts for people they'd never meet. In that same way, the detritus of the boxes was humbling - receipts, jotted notes, photos with no inscriptions, all of it once held together by the fabric of lives now finished, gone.” 4 likes
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