Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Lake House

Rate this book
An abandoned house...
June 1933, and sixteen-year-old Alice Edevane is preparing for her family's Midsummer Eve party at their country home, Loeanneth. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.

A missing child...
Seventy years later, after a particularly troubling case, Detective Sadie Sparrow retreats to her beloved grandfather's cottage in Cornwall. Once there, she stumbles upon an abandoned house, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.

An unsolved mystery...
Meanwhile, in her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, now an old lady, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family's past, seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape...

495 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kate Morton

47 books22.8k followers
KATE MORTON is an award-winning, New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author. Her seven novels - The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, The Secret Keeper, The Lake House, The Clockmaker's Daughter, and Homecoming - are published in over 45 countries, in 38 languages, and have all been number one bestsellers around the world.

Kate Morton was born in South Australia, grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland, and now lives with her family in London and Australia. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, and harboured dreams of joining the Royal Shakespeare Company until she realised that it was words she loved more than performing. Kate still feels a pang of longing each time she goes to the theatre and the house lights dim.

"I fell deeply in love with books as a child and believe that reading is freedom; that to read is to live a thousand lives in one; that fiction is a magical conversation between two people - you and me - in which our minds meet across time and space. I love books that conjure a world around me, bringing their characters and settings to life, so that the real world disappears and all that matters, from beginning to end, is turning one more page."

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at https://www.katemorton.com or connect on http://www.facebook.com/KateMortonAuthor or instagram.com/katemortonauthor/

To stay up-to-date on Kate's books and events, join her mailing list here: https://www.katemorton.com/mailing-list/

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
40,184 (34%)
4 stars
50,098 (43%)
3 stars
20,529 (17%)
2 stars
3,691 (3%)
1 star
1,449 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,615 reviews
Profile Image for Dem.
1,190 reviews1,131 followers
April 17, 2019
I loved this book to start with and I hated this book by the end and therefore I found this such a difficult Novel to rate and review.

Firstly the setting for the Lake house is amazing and Kate Morton has a wonderful sense of time and place in her novels. Set in two time frames, 1930s Cornwall and 2003 London the plot slowly unfolds and the author introduces two mysteries that need solving. I was totally drawn in by the descriptive and vivid writing and the wonderful images that that the author created. The characters in this novel are very well developed and likable, I loved the 1930s setting, the period house, set in an enchanted forest, a dysfunctional family with secrets and a mysteries going back 70 years.

I was so taken with this novel that I bought the audio as well as the Kindle edition as well and I have to admit I even took this one to work as I just could not pull myself away.

The Narrator was excellent on the audio version although the story did drag a little in places.

So what was there to hate about this novel, it was too descriptive and way too drawn out. But the biggest disappointment of all was the contrived and fairytale ending It was so bad I wanted to fling my kindle across the room. It felt like the author got bored and just wanted out. There was also a few incidents in the story where you would have to seriously suspend belief.

I always urge people to judge a book for yourself because we all differ on how we react to a story and I am in the minority on this one.

I did find this an atmospheric read but not as good as her first couple of novels.
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (catching up).
746 reviews1,793 followers
September 9, 2015
I had really, really wanted to wait a little closer to the publishing date to read this, but based on all of the great feedback, and my love of her previous novels I couldn't resist. So here I sit having just finished... let me start off by saying that all expectations I had for this have been exceeded. I have enjoyed all of KM's novels but this one will easily go down as my favorite. As a writer, she has a unique gift of being able to weave past and present stories together in a way that seems effortless. In this, both stories had me captivated from the very beginning. My only criticism would be that the ending was a bit tidy for my liking, however, even this small fact does not deter me in the least from giving this a strong five star rating. Bravo, Kate!
Profile Image for Cathrine ☯️ .
633 reviews349 followers
August 1, 2022
I only got through a quarter of it. Just cannot get interested in the story. Jumps back and forth between multiple time periods and characters with long-winded descriptions about everything and everyone. It was like listening to someone trying to tell me a story who cannot stay on track. I liked her other books. Perhaps I'm too impatient and the timing for this one was not right. Reading can be such a subjective endeavor sometimes.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,333 followers
July 19, 2017
Hmm... Good, but not as good as I expected. Feeling a little underwhelmed right now.

This one had been sitting on my Audible shelf for a long time. Even though it has been on the bestseller lists forever, the twenty plus hour length was daunting. Finally, I decided to tackle it.

The story is told in multiple timeframes -early 1900s, 1930's and 2003- and has multiple stories woven together. The common thread is Sadie Sparrow, a London detective on leave after leaking information to the press about a case she'd been working on. Sadie goes to stay with her grandfather at his home in the country to get away from the city and clear her head.

While staying with her grandfather, she stumbles upon another unsolved case from 70 years earlier. The case has some similarities to the case that she'd been working on recently and Sadie begins investigating the cold case to keep her busy. Soon, she is completely absorbed by the disappearance of a young boy from the lake house seventy years earlier.

As the story progresses, multiple leads are explored and snuffed out. Glimpses of the lives of the boy's family members are provided as letters and other insights are revealed. Alice, the boy's sister, is an esteemed writer and offers many insights into the events surrounding his disappearance.

Although there was a love story or two along the way, they took a backseat to the mystery surrounding the crimes. Since I am primarily a romance reader, I craved a stronger love story that was more central to the story. That never happened because it just wasn't that type of story. Therefore, I never really connected with this story.

I never felt emotionally invested in the story. In over twenty hours, I never felt excited, anxious, sad or much of anything. The entire story just felt "flat" to me. I never cared one way or the other about the characters.

If it weren't for my compulsive need to finish every book I start, I probably would have DNF'd this one. I knew it wasn't my cup of tea and it seemed to drag on forever.

I was surprised with the ending, but not necessarily satisfied. I think I expected more. After all of those hours, I was left thinking "That's it?". Underwhelmed is probably the best descriptor of my feelings after finishing this book.

Despite all of my gripes, I did think the story was well-written. If mysteries were my thing, I probably would have really enjoyed this one. However, any story without a strong, central romance isn't going to appeal much to me. So, this is probably a case of "it's not you, it's me".
Profile Image for Blair.
1,794 reviews4,432 followers
August 29, 2015
Either I'm now so old, bitter and cynical that I can no longer enjoy harmless fluff, or this wasn't anywhere near as good as Kate Morton's others. Two things are inevitable when authors recycle the same formula: a) you'll compare every detail of each new book to its predecessors, and b) there will come a point when said formula starts to feel tired and past its best. The Lake House just doesn't have the same magically indulgent appeal as the author's previous books, though the ingredients are there: a beautiful tumbledown house in the country, a family secret hidden for decades, a character receiving a fateful letter, and a narrative that's split between 'past' (1911 and the early 1930s) and 'present' (2003). There's nothing strictly wrong with the story, I just found it dragging at points which seemed at odds with how compelling previous Morton books have been. But it's as cleverly plotted as ever, with cliffhangers galore, and I admit I wouldn't have wanted to give up without knowing how it all ended.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,782 reviews14.2k followers
November 2, 2015
Two different story lines decades apart, a young boy missing in the past and a policewoman at odds with her superiors and a woman author, make up this story. As with all Morton novels, very descriptive and atmospheric, maybe too much so. Her novels seem to follow a pattern, but this is a comfort read, one know exactly what one will get. A little suspense, a family tragedy, secrets and at last a dénouement. As for the end, a little to pat, too neatly tied up and ultimately a disappointment.

Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,324 reviews2,146 followers
January 9, 2016
I tried but I can't like this one as much as every one else does. The story is good, some of the characters are interesting but the author just uses far too many words! I was obliged to skim quite a lot of the text just because she rambled so far from the purpose of the book. And then one complete star off for that awfully contrived ending. Sorry everyone who loved it - it obviously just wasn't for me:(
Profile Image for L.A..
454 reviews149 followers
September 6, 2023
If I could rate a book higher than a five it would be this one! Kate Morton, author of The Lake House, captures so many emotions in this epic mystery of family secrets, betrayal, vivid scenes, and a haunting ending!
Captivated by the time period 1930’s, the astounding effects a war harbors on its inhabitants and simply the haunting estate by the sea, has left me sitting here stilled by what I’ve just read. Each character introduced you are absorbed into their lives. Well-weaved with mystery, secrets and unforgettable love stories and compassion for these people trying to put their lives back together after war.
The interaction with present time police detective Sadie as she stumbles onto the crumbling estate while staying with her grandfather. Endeavors into the past of the house and the discovery of an unsolved disappearance of a baby more than seventy years ago will captivate the mystery reader. The home belonged to Evelyn and Anthony, but after the disappearance of their baby Theo, they closed up the house moved to London never to return.

Two of their three daughters, Alice and Deborah, in their prime each offer detailed stories of that night and events leading up to it from different perspectives of what happened.

You cannot miss reading this book! So thankful for the opportunity to relive their stories through love and war and the unselfish acts of so many. Reiterating the aura of the grand estate in Cornwall, Loeanneth, with its tranquility of the sea and gardens, hidden tunnels and passages to bury you into the lives of this unforgettable family and story is a great ending to this summer. Thanks Kate Morton for this gripping tale of love and betrayal.
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews532 followers
February 3, 2019
Welcome to Loeanneth

You are in a lush and abundant English garden in Cornwall on a secluded lakeside estate.
You know the kind; the ones that seem naturally resplendent with rhododendron, foxglove, bluebells, boxwood, ivy and creeping phlox.
So beautiful and fragrant it overwhelms your sense of sight and sound and smell.
Perhaps tea will be served by the gateway, just over that knoll,
where you can follow the pathway down to the lake.

Decades ago, in 1933, back at the house, on a midsummer night’s eve, 11 month old Theo Edevane vanishes from the nursery, where his Nanny Bruen lay sleeping, just feet from his crib.
The local constabulary pour over the estate, but
Theo is never found and his disappearance never explained.

Fast forward to London in 2003, where Alice Edevane, Theo’s sister, now an acclaimed mystery writer remembers that long ago night,
still harbouring suspicions of her own.
Suspicions in which she herself feels culpable.
We will meet her twice.

Sadie Sparrow, a London detective, is on a month’s forced vacation, visiting her grandfathers Cornwall home when she unintentionally stumbles upon the now, long abandoned Loeanneth
and all its attendant history. She is intrigued by the unsolved mystery.

But back in the real world of Sadie’s livelihood, an unsolved child abduction case looms large upon her mind.
She is certain things are not as they seem
That something far more sinister is afoot.
She is alone in her certainty,
And eager, desperate even, to reclaim her post.

One case that she cannot rid from her mind and another that she is not allowed to pursue.

As promised we meet Alice again in 1932, as a bright, innocent and precocious 16 year old, with a penchant for writing mystery stories,
months before that fateful mid summers eve.
A time when Ben was still at Loeanneth,
a time of dreams and misplaced certainties.

Kate Morton serves up an atmospheric tale of family secrets and intertwining destinies, revolving around three mysteries. Told from the perspective of our vacationing detective and the Edevane family members that were present on the night that Theo vanished; their stories and memories weaving back and forth in time.

What really happened to Theo?

With myriad twists and turns Morton ties up all the loose ends and brings this tale to a satisfying, if somewhat too tidy conclusion, that leaves me wondering if we wont be hearing more from Sadie Sparrow.

I for one would love to visit Loeanneth again!
Profile Image for Julie .
4,078 reviews59k followers
January 22, 2016
The Lake House by Kate Morton is a 2015 Atria publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

While Kate Morton has written several highly praised novels, I’m embarrassed to admit this is the first of her books I have read. So, I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this one, but I had a feeling I was going to like it.

Alice, a successful mystery writer and Sadie Sparrow, a detective visiting her grandfather while on leave, have their lives intersect in the most unlikely of ways, but it almost feels like fate is working overtime because the odd circumstances that place them together will unravel years of secrets, lies, guilt, and will ultimately lead to the truth about a seventy year old cold case.

Seventy years ago, Alice’s youngest sibling, Theo, disappeared, and has been presumed dead. But, his body was never found, and no one was ever charged with a crime. The lake house was abandoned just as it was, nothing moved or packed away, and has stood empty for decades, when Sadie happens upon it.

Sadie is in some hot water at work and her partner is trying to keep her from being fired. So, he suggested she lay low for a while. But, what caused her to make such a huge career blunder, is a distraction from her past.

With nothing to keep her mind busy, Sophie begins to delve into Theo’s disappearance. What she uncovers is absolutely astounding….

I love it when a mystery novel is written in a literary prose, and this story certainly has that advantage, but in the beginning the story was sort of disjointed and moved very slowly. The truth is, nothing all that exciting comes to pass until the half way mark, when all that came before begins to take shape. From that point on, the story became so absorbing, I couldn’t stop reading and found myself still awake at one a.m., totally spellbound.

This is such a compelling story, which goes far beyond the initial mystery that brings Alice and Sadie together. They don’t write enough of these types of stories anymore, which is sad. Although there are heartbreaking elements to the tale, the ending is simply perfect.

I highly recommend this story to those who love historical mysteries, contemporary fiction, and great story telling.
Profile Image for B the BookAddict.
300 reviews667 followers
November 5, 2015

I never review Morton's books. They are just a reading treat, kinda like a piece of reading chocolate. As always, enjoyable but this one was a bit too neatly tied up at the end.
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,722 followers
June 12, 2018
After reading a few Kate Morton novels last year, I found myself enamored with her storytelling and character creation abilities. I added all of her books to my TBR and included The Lake House on my monthly Book Bucket List on my blog, where followers vote to select one read per month for me -- this won as my June novel and I finished it over 6 days last week. With a new puppy in the house, reading and book reviewing time is not as easy as usual but I'm determined to meet my June TBR goals. While I absolutely adored this book, there were a few times I felt disconnected and disappointed, or that the coincidences were a little too much, but not for too long or in any way to truly bother me.

The story focuses on several characters in England mostly during the 1910s to the 1930s, and then current time which is set in the 2000s. In the 1920s, the Edevane family is recuperating from World War 1 where while no one died, the savagery of war has had its toll on relationships. Alice is the focus, the middle sister who never quite fit in the family and became a mystery writer. When her younger brother disappears, and her two other sisters begin to act oddly, something seems off. Throw in a battleaxe for a grandmother, a fun but peculiar uncle-type, and some very attentive or non-attentive nannies, there's got to be something bad that happened to the little boy... but was he kidnapped, killed, or is someone making things up about his childhood? When Alice's book covers some of those true-life situations, people wonder what happened years ago... in modern times, Sadie has been put on leave after she made a mistake during an investigation, so the cop visits her grandfather and gets caught up in the old Edevane case while taking some rest. This is a story about missing children, lost children, and kidnapped children... there are a few cases going on, but they are not connected in any way other than as situations to help readers reflect on the character's emotions and lives.

What I love about Morton's writing is the imagery and depth you see, hear, and experience. Everything feels like it's unfolding right before your eyes on a stage. Among the always present gardens, large estates, dysfunctional families, and interconnected historic and modern times, you're carried away into a dreamlike state where you can happily immerse yourself in beauty and lyrical action. Morton also excels at weaving together multiple stories that have both small and large connections you begin to assemble along the path. At times, it's a bit too connected or coincidental, but truthfully, isn't that part of why we read books? We want to experience something new and different, a shock or a twist... if it was all simple and straightforward, there wouldn't be a lot of drama to dig into. So while it can be a bit overdone or over-the-top (even in my own writing, I would agree it happens), it also is what truly makes the book spectacular in other ways. It's a story with a start and a finish, so it's going to have very specific reasons for things happening. In this one, it all felt natural as it could have happened just pushed together too closely in a few occasions.

I also struggled a bit in the early pages as there were a few too many characters to keep track of, and with so many women across 4 generations, it was often a confusing in the beginning of a chapter to know which one we were talking about. It was done purposefully to add intrigue and suspense, which I understand, but sometimes it was a little too much. Other than those concerns, I was very happy with the story. It isn't my favorite Morton, but I find myself still thinking about it days later... Morton captures the young heroine trying to solve the past like no other author I know. She can also brilliantly build the amazing balance in an octogenarian who is torn, but also a bit of a curmudgeon about the past. You feel the indeterminable strength in the woman who can't let go but is desperate for a closure that seems destined to cause more pain.

I am thrilled with this book, especially with the last 25% and how it all came together. Stunning poetry at times. I can't wait to read her latest book, The Clockmaker's Daughter, which I just got approved for on NetGalley.
Profile Image for Annemarie.
250 reviews697 followers
December 27, 2018
Oh gosh, how I just adore this woman's writing! She could publish her grocery list and I would happily buy it.

I found this book easy to, as I always do. It had everything I love about Kate Morton's books, including a perfect mixture between historical fiction and an intriguing crime story. She writes about topics that simply interest me. I have a thing for old family secrets being revealed and someone delving deep into the past, and she pairs those with sympathetic characters, so of course I ended up majorly enjoying reading this story.

I love how much attention she pays to including even very small details. I appreciate this so much, because it makes everything seem more realistic to me.
However, this is definitely not something for everyone! My mum is currently reading the book as well and she is rather annoyed and bored by how Morton takes great time to explain and describe so many little things - to her, it seems like the story isn't moving forward.
So everyone's individual reading likes and dislikes definitely play a big role in if they end up being as enthralled by the author's writing as I am.

The ending was a bit too cheesy and obvious for my tastes. However, I'm able to very easily ignore this in favour of my great love for the rest of the book.
Profile Image for Nina (ninjasbooks).
954 reviews375 followers
October 2, 2016
A wonderful book. It captivated me from the start, and kept doing so until the last page. I liked the characters, and found the plot surprising and interesting.
Profile Image for PattyMacDotComma.
1,487 reviews842 followers
April 2, 2018
I always like Kate Morton’s books, and I liked this one too. They are very long, complicated, multi-generational mysteries made up of criminal incidents and unexplained events long past that someone today has become curious about. She doesn’t play favourites. Each generation and character is fleshed out and recognisable. That’s what makes her books so long.

And there are boatloads of red herrings. Every time I’d figured it out and thought—Oh, come on, get on with it already—she’d toss us another little one to send us on another trail.

Today is 2003, and D.C. Sadie Sparrow has been sent out of London to escape the unfortunate publicity about her leaking confidential information to a journalist about a case she’s frustrated with. A mother had apparently disappeared, abandoning her little girl for a week in their flat. Sadie, now unprofessionally close to the grandmother, suspects foul play and has been doggedly pursuing justice at the possible expense of her career.

She goes to stay with her widowed grandfather in Cornwall, and while there, she comes upon a lake house, Loeanneth, abandoned for 70 years following a family tragedy where a much-loved baby brother disappeared in the 1930s. She can see through the windows that it’s still furnished but layered with dust. Another child. Another disappearance. Stuck in Cornwall, she starts researching.

Meanwhile, Morton introduces the people of Loeanneth. The baby’s mother, Eleanor, had been besotted with her first son. She loved his three older sisters

“. . . but with Theo it was more than love. She ‘cherished’ him . . . she’d looked into his eyes and seen there all the wisdom babies are born with before it slips away. He stared back, trying to tell her the secrets of the cosmos, his little mouth opening and closing around words he didn’t yet know, or perhaps no longer remembered. It reminded her of when her father died. He’d done the same thing, staring at her with bottomless eyes, filled with all the things he’d never now have the chance to say.”

I’ve always said newborn babies look as if they have a 45-year-old Martian inside who knows everything, and as they wake up to the world, the Martian gradually disappears.

Eleanor and her husband had bought back her childhood home, Loeanneth, and her mother, Constance, was reduced to moving back in with them. She was a cold, cranky old lady who hated living “in this godforsaken place where the smell of the sea, its horrible crashing sound when the breeze blew a certain way, was enough to make her blood run cold. Constance despised the sound. It reminded her of that terrible night all those years ago; she’d thought herself rid of it when they’d left the house more than twenty years before, but life could be cruel like that.”

Even the baby’s grandmother has secrets! But that goes back further, and Eleanor and Alice, her middle daughter, and Sadie, the modern-day detective, are the main generations we’re concerned with.

Today, Alice is in her 80s and is a highly successful mystery writer, full of theories as to what might have happened to her baby brother. She was a lively, imaginative girl, and we get to know her well in her teens, when she’s making up stories and trying to be grown-up.

The only time I got confused was when "old" Alice was reminiscing about her youth, and I had to separate that material from when the author was telling us about Alice’s youth as it was happening, so to speak.

I consider Eleanor the main protagonist, the one who held the family and the story together. She was an active, adventuresome, curious little girl who fell madly in love and married, raised children (put up with her cranky mother), and then had to take over and manage her war-damaged husband when he returned from the horrors of WW1.

There are lots of side stories, including Sadie’s original abandoned child story, and they’re all enjoyable. I’ve always liked Morton’s writing. At one point, Eleanor has taken herself to London for an appointment she’d unsuccessfully tried to drag her husband to.

“It was raining outside now and London was slate-coloured and smeary. The streets glistened with dark puddles and a tide of black umbrellas flowed above the human traffic beneath. People moved faster in the rain, their expressions set, their eyes focused, each intent on his or her goal. There was so much scurrying purpose out there that Eleanor was overcome with weariness. Here, in the warmth of the tearoom, she sat inert like a single piece of flotsam in a sea of determination that threatened to sink her. She had never been good at filling time. She ought to have brought a book with her from Cornwall. She ought to have brought her husband.”

As for her spiteful mother, Eleanor has good reason to feel vengeful and finds her chance when the family leaves the lake house after the baby boy disappears. This is not a spoiler, just an excellent example of how Morton winds up even then the smallest storylines.

“There was no question of the old woman moving with them to London, but she couldn’t be abandoned either. Not entirely. Eleanor searched all over before she finally found Seawall. It was expensive, but worth every penny . . . ‘It’s just right,’ Eleanor had said, signing the admission forms. And it was. Just and right. The unrelenting sound of the ocean for the rest of her days had been precisely what Constance deserved.”

These books could be edited down to a more digestible 350 words or so, but then there wouldn’t be room for all those red herrings, I guess. :)
Profile Image for Christina.
262 reviews228 followers
December 13, 2015
4.5 stars!

" But of course one does not need to have commited murder to write about it. One simply requires an aquaintance with man's dark depths, and the inclination to explore them to their very end. Besides, haven't we all experienced the desire to kill, if only for a moment? "

I loved this. This was my first novel by Kate Morton and it definitely won't be my last.

On a summer evening in 1933, eleven month old Theo Edevane vanishes from his crib and is nowhere to be found. After months of searching with no results, the devastated Edevane family leaves their lakeside estate in Cornwall for London. They will never go back. Seventy years later, Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow is visiting her granddad in Cornwall on a leave from her job. On a run through the woods, she stumbles upon the once proud Edevane mansion...now an overgrown ruin. Her natural curiosity is piqued when she learns the story of the baby boy who disappeared from the house without a trace and she decides to seek answers.

I wouldn't call this story fast paced by any definition, but in this case it really worked. The story goes through many different people's perspectives, through many different periods of time. But I never felt lost or confused by this and I really enjoyed all the extra detail it added. Even with all the clues revealed throughout, it really kept me guessing up until the last 60 or so pages and even then I couldn't fully predict the outcome. I loved how everything connected together in the end. Also worth mentioning, I had a friend on here mention how she was impressed with how authentic Morton made her characters sound ( they being set in London and the author being Australian ) and I couldn't agree more. I literally cried a few happy tears during that last chapter :) I hope to read more by this author very soon!
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
July 26, 2019
Not as horrific as I thought it was going to be after reading the first chapter, in which a female character is burying something incriminating in the woods. I whipped through this dual (or more) timeline mystery in a couple of days when I found out my book club is meeting to talk about it at the end of this week. :)

The Lake House starts with a tragedy - the disappearance of a one-year-old boy, Theo Edevane, from his crib in the country home of a wealthy English family in 1933 - and examines it from the viewpoints of several characters, particularly his mother Eleanor and his 16-year-old sister Alice. Seventy years later. a temporarily suspended police detective, Sadie Sparrow, finds the Edevane family’s abandoned lake home that Theo disappeared from, and begins investigating the case. Theo's older sister Alice, now in her 80's, is still around, a famous crime novelist ... but she's not at all sure she wants to cooperate with Sadie's informal investigation. Because Secrets.

There are lots of red herrings, and an interesting resolution that relies too much on a far-fetched coincidence and some questionable decision-making. But the story is well-told and sucked me right in.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
January 22, 2016
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I just....

I was so into what I was reading and the way the book went back and forth I forgot to write down page numbers for excerpts accept for one. I can't believe what I just read!



She lowered the bag into the hole and for a split second the moon seemed to peer from behind a cloud. Tears threatened as she scooped the dirt back, but she fought them. To cry, here and now, was an indulgence, she refused to grant herself. She patted the ground flat, slapped her hands against it, and stomped down hard with her boots until she was out of breath.

This book went back and forth from the past to the future. There are so many people interconnected!

Seventy-years later from the tragedy of the Edevane family losing their little boy, DC Sadie Sparrow comes to Cornwall to visit her grandfather. She need, or rather was told, to take some time off from a big case she was working on. She decided to see her grandfather who raised her, him and her grandmother, who has passed.

One day when Sadie is out running with the dogs she stumbles across.. one of the dogs actually.. stumbles across the old Lake House that belonged to the Edevane family. It still had stuff inside, like everyone just dropped everything and left.


It's only this pretty ↑ when they would go back into the past and talk about the stories involved with the family.

Sadie keeps digging to find the story of the house and finds out from her grandpa and the town archives, etc. that the family that lived there up and left when their little son was taken, murdered, whatever... they never found him.

Sadie finds out one of the daughters was still alive and a very popular author, her name is Alice. She tries to contact Alice but Alice wants nothing to do with her. She doesn't want to remember the past. She talks a little bit about it with her older sister Deb but everyone has the whole story different. Everyone in the book are thinking different things and so was I for that matter! They had another sister that had some kind of a mental disability and she was so sweet. Luckily they kept all bad things from her accept for one thing she saw when she was younger.

Alice tells her story from when she's young and things that happened at that time, she also tells her story in the present tense.

Holy crow! This book is all over the place and your on the edge of your seat when the author almost gives something away! It's like..oh no she didn't... It was brilliant!! Usually I don't like that and I got ill a couple of times, but then I was like.. this is just so awesome and I have to know the ending.

Alice finally decides to talk to DC Sadie because she's getting closer to something, but it is soooo not what Sadie is thinking. Oh and Sadie also brings in the old cop that was on the case all of those years ago, he was just thrilled to help out too.

I was so shocked at the ending, I kept thinking it was this or that and noooooo.. it is so beyond what I could have expected.. I have no words.. just no more words at finding out what really happened.

The author really got me on this one and I loved it! I recommend this book to everyone that is thinking about read it, just go right ahead and you read it! I'm telling you, and don't stop, keep going even if someone gets on your nerves!
Profile Image for Fictionophile .
1,062 reviews339 followers
November 12, 2020
An abandoned house in enchanting Cornwall coupled with a seventy year old cold case of a missing child. Interest piqued? Mine certainly was. Add to that the author is Kate Morton and I knew I was in for a treat. I wasn’t disappointed.

1914. The beloved home of the Edevane family called ‘Loeanneth’ is a magical place of love, laughter and contentment. The mother, Eleanor had been brought up in the house and after marrying her husband, Anthony, he purchased it for her, an astounding gift for the love of his life.

In June of 1933 a favored baby child, the only son of the Edevane family went missing after an annual house party. The family adored baby Theo. Every single one of them. Their lives were forever changed as the case was never resolved.

It turns out each of the family members carried guilt with them for the rest of their lives. But why would they if they had nothing to do with Theo’s disappearance?

The Edevane Family:

Eleanor Edevane their lovely mother.

Anthony Edevane, Eleanor’s husband and greatest love – once studied to be a physician. The war put paid to his aspirations and he came home a changed man with physical problems that prevented him from pursuing his dream of practicing medicine.

Deborah, the eldest daughter, beautiful like her mother, charming and clever as well. Married well and had one daughter.

Alice, the middle daughter, never to be seen without her ‘notebook’ was a born storyteller who had the greatest affection and attachment to the idyllic home where she was privileged to have grown up. She grew up to be a prolific and esteemed mystery novelist. She never married, nor did she have any children.

Clementine, the youngest daughter, a tomboy who grew up to be a pilot in WWII.

Constance, Eleanor’s mother, lived at Loeanneth under sufferance. Hers because she would much rather be anywhere but near the sea, and Eleanor’s because there was a deep rift between her and her mother.

Outside the family, there were others who lived at the lake house.

Ben Munro was an itinerant gardener employed by the Edevane family. He was a strong and handsome twenty-six year old who attracted the eye of the teenage Alice.

Mr. Llewellyn, a family friend from the days of Eleanor’s youth at the house.

Skip ahead seventy years to 2003. We meet Sadie, a worldly-wise London policewomen, a loner who is in trouble at work because she has committed the most grievous error of letting information slip to the media about a case. Ordered to ‘take a break’, she visits her grandfather Bertie, in Cornwall. One day while running with her grandfather’s two dogs, she wanders into a neglected garden near Bertie’s cottage. Through the garden she discovers an abandoned house. With furniture and belongings still intact, it looks as though the occupants had just left one day and never returned. Sadie has a bad feeling about the house and her cop’s instinct kicks in. Although she is supposed to be taking a break, she initiates an investigation into what happened at Loeanneth, the lake house.

Her investigations lead her to become acquainted with the renowned mystery novelist, A.C. Edevane (Alice), and her assistant Peter. Together they are determined to solve the mystery of what happened at Loeanneth so many years ago…

A story about family secrets, lapses of judgement, guilt, homes lost and found, great loves, great passions, and an enchanting place in the world, “The Lake House” is a prime example of what fiction should be. Escapism with endearing and engaging characters, myriad twists and red herrings, an idyllic setting, romance and mystery, and a satisfying resolution.

This novel will hold great appeal for bibliophiles. The author’s love and respect for books, reading, and libraries is evident throughout her eloquent prose. I read her novel “The Forgotten Garden” a few years ago and it remains one of my favorites.

Highly recommended! One of my favorites of 2015!
Profile Image for Holly in Bookland.
1,077 reviews440 followers
October 7, 2015
Kate Morton is one of those authors that are so high up on my list of favorites that I literally hate that I have to wait so long for a new book of hers to come out. Then when her novel does get published my greedy hands takes one and then I'm sad that I've read it, & I have to wait so long for another! She can't win:)

Of course, I loved this novel. Its Kate Morton after all, and she only does supreme excellence in the writing department. She knows how to set the mood, knows her characters, and her grand homes. I know that when I sit down to read her book, I will become lost within its pages. There's nothing to do about it either. I get completely lost. Isn't that why we read? To get so lost that you forget that there's a world beyond the one in which you hold in your hands?

I'm not going to give you a synopsis of The Lake House, you can read that yourself. Just know that there are a lot of secrets within, but that's also something Kate is good at: family secrets. I wouldn't say this is my favorite of hers. I leave that to The House at Riverton & The Distant Hours, but I did enjoy this...very much.

*This was an ARC but I do plan on buying a hard copy in October. Morton is also that rare author that I have to have copies of her books on my shelf.

**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books318 followers
August 20, 2015
The novel starts in Cornwall in 1933 with 16 year old Alice Edevane in the family country house of Loeanneth and the Midsummer Eve party that affected several lives. Then the story moves to 2003 and introduces the reader to Sadie Sparrow, who is on enforced leave from the Metropolitan police after her refusal to let go of a case involving a grandmother, mother and abandoned child. Sadie feels the mother has not abandoned her baby at all and there is more to the story. Is she right? This is just one of the stories and secrets to be unveiled in this novel. I really liked Sadie as she held strongly to her views and wasn’t frightened to stick to her guns. I also loved the relationship with her grandfather Bertie who she stays with in Cornwall.
In London 2003 we then meet the now elderly Alice Edavane, a mystery writer, and her assistant Peter. Once again secrets abound about what happened to her brother when he was a baby, but Alice knows more than she ever let on. Later in the book there are other time shifts back to London 1911, filling in back story, so it seems the author has a lot of threads to pull together. There are quite a few red herrings with regard to the boy’s disappearance that could lead the reader off the track, before the final revelation.
Initially it took me a little while to settle down to being pulled from one time and place to the other but once I got to know the characters better I was absorbed and went with the flow because you know sooner or later you are going to see how they all connect.
My favourite Kate Morton novel so far was The Secret Keeper. But this is right up there with that one. The only reason I didn’t read this more quickly was life and other commitments kept frustratingly getting in the way. Every chance I got I was back with Sadie and Alice and co. It’s a big book but it never feels that way. I recommend this for anyone who loves stories about secrets and families. And of course there is romance thrown in. Well worth reading.
Thanks to Goodreads first reads giveaway for my copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Tabetha.
66 reviews133 followers
December 15, 2015
"She'd realized recently (an awareness that coincided with her new obsession for Agatha Christie) that what her previous story attempts were missing was a puzzle, a complex, knotty twist of events designed to mislead and bewilder readers. Also, a crime. The key to the perfect novel, Alice had decided, was to revolve the story around a crime's solution, all the while tricking the reader by making it seem she was doing one thing when in fact she was merrily doing another...'I've had a brilliant idea,' she said...'A kidnapping, Ben. I'm going to write a book about a kidnapping...'"

This is an atmospheric mystery surrounding a now abandoned lakeside estate in Cornwall, UK, and involves the tragic disappearance of 11 month old Theo Edevane, so long ago, that became a cold case and that forever affected the Edevane family. The novel jumps back and forth through time, and provides the points of view and back story of many different members of the Edevane family. Alice, Theo's sister, was 16 when he vanished and continues to blame herself, still searches for answers. She is now a successful mystery writer, and when a young female detective finds the abandoned ruins of the estate, and begins to dredge up old skeletons, so to speak, Alice is forced to think of the past, and to remember...

The writing is so vivid that I pictured this as a beautiful BBC Masterpiece Classic/Mystery adaptation, a combined period piece and contemporary miniseries. Every night was a gift, when I was finally able to open this book, and was able to step back in time to the 1930's, or to the more recent past of 2003; this intricately layered mystery kept me analyzing and guessing the many clues provided until the very end, when all is ultimately revealed. The story has so many great elements, including love, romance, loyalty, post traumatic stress (shell-shock), loyalty, the power of denial, the mistakes of our youth, and more. Although not always fast paced, this was more of a slow burn, uncovering and peeling back clues and layers. I felt the numerous details helped create a deep connection with the characters, creating more empathy for their actions. A last parting quote from Alice:

"It wasn't so much the discovery of a single clue, as the coming together of many small details. That moment when the sun shifts by a degree and a spider's web, previously concealed, begins to shine like fine-spun silver..." Kate Morton, I am a fan!

Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
798 reviews595 followers
November 3, 2016
THE LAKE HOUSE is a lovely story told in alternating time periods, and at its heart, the mystery of a boy who went missing in the 1930s. While on leave from her job, a police detective stumbles upon an abandoned estate in Cornwall, and discovers the 70-year old cold case of Theo Edevane's disappearance from the house. The story shifts between the present and past, back to 1933 and Theo's sister Alice's account of what happened leading up to his disappearance. I enjoyed the book - very descriptive, with well-drawn characters, and a Gothic undertone. The story had some nice twists, though the ending did seem a bit too coincidental. Still, a good book. I had fun trying to figure out the Edevane family secrets.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susan.
1,062 reviews200 followers
August 25, 2015
There are some wonderful books where houses become central characters. I can think of Tara in "Gone With The Wind" and "Manderley in "Rebecca." Kate Morton writes great books where the houses are characters and this one is no different. Loeanneth, The Lake House, is so important to this story. It was once a small house on a larger estate but it's certainly not small by current definition. It's a magic place with a private lake and great grounds for picnics and exploring.

In 1933 a couple lived there with their three daughters Deborah, Alice and Clemmie and their 11 month old son, Theo. They live an idyllic life that shoes are only put on to go to town. These are children adored by their parents, Eleanor and Anthony. Their grandmother, Constance, and family friend, Mr. Llewellyn, also lived with them along with all the sundry employees needed to keep the estate running smoothly.

Life is great until a large midsummer party takes place. Theo disappears and no one ever discovered him. The family closes the door on The Lake House and leaves everything just as it is. They move to London and the girls grow up. Alice becomes a famous author, think Agatha Christie, and Deborah becomes the wife of a famous politician. Eleanor makes a visit once a year to the house but after she dies and leaves the house to Alice, no one comes near it.

Seventy years later, Sadie Sparrow is put on disciplinary leave from the London police department. She visits her grandfather in his new house in Cornwall and stumbles across Loeanneth and learns the story of the missing boy and the cold, cold case. Needing something to occupy herself, she starts to investigate.

The book has so many layers and so many secrets that it's like an onion. The layers keep being peeled away and everything you thought you knew is gone in a poof of smoke. Things keep being revealed and you can barely put the book down because you just have to know what's going to happen next. It keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

This is one of my favorite books of 2015 and I just couldn't recommend it more highly. Clean off your calendar, curl up and enjoy the read.

I received this from Net Galley.
Profile Image for Carolyn (on vacation).
2,248 reviews642 followers
November 13, 2016
The novel opens in the summer of 1933 with Alice Edevane 16 years old watching the preparations for the family's annual Midsummer Night party. Alice, second daughter of the wealthy Eleanor and Anthony Edevane lived on the beautiful country estate of Loeanneth in Cornwall, revelling in an idyllic life where she was free to explore the woods and the lake. Alice had recently decided she was going to be a writer and had decided to present her first manuscript to her friend, Ben Munro, a handsome young gardener who encouraged her to write and with who she decided she had fallen in love. However, events don't quite work out as she planned and something happens that night to blow apart the family and their lives, causing them to flee Loeanneth and never return.

Some seven decades later, a young police detective, Sadie Sparrow on enforced leave from her job, discovers the neglected estate while staying with her grandfather and hears how the Edevane's baby son, Theo disappeared on that Midsummer Night in 1933 and was never found. Intrigued by this very cold case, Sadie scours the local library for information and tracks down Alice, now a well renowned writer in London, to try to solve the mystery.

The Lake House is a long book, mainly because Kate Morton really likes to flesh out her characters as well as her story. Alice's mother, Eleanor is one of the main characters and her life is laid out in detail, from her childhood at Loeanneth to her marriage, the birth of her children, her struggles to come to terms and cope with her husband Anthony's return from WWI and his PTSD. Each member of the family has secrets and these are gradually bought to light, each adding to the complexity and fabric of the story. Sadie's story is also interesting and her secrets are also revealed from her childhood and close connection with her grandfather to the reason she is licking her wounds in Cornwall.

If you enjoy family sagas set over several decades you will enjoy this but if you are looking for a fast paced mystery then you may find this is too finely detailed for you. For me it was almost a five star read except that the final revelation was just a little too neat and contrived. 4.5 ★

Profile Image for Connie Cox.
286 reviews181 followers
February 7, 2017
Not my favorite Morton...review on the way! Stay tuned.

I will start by saying I love Kate Morton's writing. She has the ability to paint a setting and a time in history like very few writers. She is also wonderful at her character development. I can picture the story and each character as the book unfolds.

But...this was not my favorite. I felt like she crammed a bit too much into one story. There were mysteries, and a family full of secrets which eventually are revealed and a heroine who is coming to terms with her own life and all her shortcomings. I just felt as if there were too many things going on, too many coincidences and it all tied up way to neatly for me at the end.

She usually does an excellent job of moving between the past and the present. I did not think that she was a successful in this book. There were too many narrators for me. Each character had their own theories and there were so many different paths to follow that as a reader I kept guessing, then hitting a dead end, then second guessing until I really was at a point of "enough already!". Get me to the conclusion!

By no means will this keep me from being a Morton fan. Nor would I hesitate to recommend The Lake House as an entertaining read. Just a bit too long and drawn out for me.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,082 reviews1,411 followers
February 13, 2017

Alice the author and sister of Theo and Sadie the detective.

Would these two women be able to find information about the disappearance 70 years ago of 11-month old Theo ​​if they worked together on this cold case even though the police had not been able to find one clue or to find Theo?

Alice had lived the nightmare of her brother's disappearance, and Sadie wanted to investigate the years-old case after she found the sprawling, abandoned estate of the Edevane family.

I LOVED exploring the estate and finding the clues of the case with Sadie and finding things that were left by the family. I would have loved to live on the estate as well as to be a part of the investigating.

THE LAKE HOUSE goes back and forth in time and is filled with mystery, hidden passageways, intrigue, family secrets, and all of Ms. Morton's wonderful, creative writing skills, marvelous story lines, and descriptions that get better each time you turn the page and that put you right at the scene or definitely wanting to be there with the characters.

​Ms. Morton knows how to keep her readers interested and not want the book to end.​ Twists and turns seem to be Ms. Morton's trademark along with marvelous, surprise endings. And what a spectacular ending THE LAKE HOUSE has. You will love it!!

Ms. Morton had me hooked on her book THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, and THE LAKE HOUSE is going to be right up there with it as one of my all-time favorites. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.​
Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,615 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.