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Lake Surrender

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  297 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Winner of 2016 Illumination Award Medal for Inspirational/Romance Fiction

Quicker than you can say "downsized, unemployed, and divorced," Ally Cervantes finds herself with the Pacific Ocean in her rearview mirror as she and her two children head to Lake Surrender in rural Northern Michigan to live with her aunt. The dry hills of California are a metaphor for her empty soul,
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing () (first published September 21st 2014)
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Average rating 4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  297 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Ashley Swindle
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put it down. Mrs. Stratton has a gift and I’m thrilled that she is sharing it with the world.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
great book, you captured Michigan, loved it
Victoria Scott
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: posted-on-blog
I really enjoyed this book, despite it being a bit predictable. When Ally meets a man in a religious camp, I feel like you can see where it’s going. It’s a love story we’ve read a hundred times. But the camp setting, the divorce, and her son with autism all made this story unique.

Benjie was probably my most favourite aspect of the story. He’s a kid with autism, and a lot of Ally’s story centres around him. I volunteer with similar kids at school, and it’s really interesting to see how a kid lik
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I love everything about summer camp, so when I found out this story would partially take place at one, I was very excited to read it. It actually wasn’t quite as much “camp” as I’d expected or hoped for, and what followed was simple and predictable, romantic suspense story.
The story does start out strong, where you find the main character Ally just getting caught between a rock and a hard place. I won’t go into plot details, because you can read that elsewhere, but I can tell you that you are im
Oct 05, 2014 added it
Ally's losses continue to mount, a divorce, her home, and to top that off, her job. A single mom with no job, no home, and two children to raise, makes a life-changing decision. With her almost teen daughter and an autistic young son, she makes a big move toward healing and a new start in life. They leave San Francisco behind and move to Michigan to stay with Ally's aunt on Lake Surrender.

This is a debut novel for this author, and had I not known that fact I would have been amazed! This author'
Teena Stewart
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Ally Cervantes’ life is in the toilet. Her husband has bailed on their marriage partially due to the fact that he can’t handle being dad to an autistic son and partly because the passion has died. Ally has to sell her home in California at a loss and simultaneously loses her job as an editor for a book publisher. Not sure how else to make it, she takes her Aunt Nettie up on her offer to come stay with her in Michigan on Lake Surrender. Even then Ally can’t get a job in the publishing industry an ...more
Janet Grunst
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed Lake Surrender on so many different levels. I lived in the area of California where part of the story takes place and am familiar with Michigan and Michiganders. I can attest the author got the nuances of both locations as well as the colloquialisms exactly right.
Everyone experiences trials and Ally Cervantes is in the midst of many hitting at the same time: divorce, single parenting, the challenges of an autistic child, job loss, losing her home, financial ruin and moving across the
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It was a light quick read and kept me interested till the end. I enjoy happy endings and light romance and this book did not disappoint. I really didn't realize this was of Christian genre until well into the last half of the book. I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. This reminded me of a Hallmark movie. I found it very interesting that it was set in Michigan near Traverse City and old mission peninsula since I have been to both places. It br ...more
Frankie Tipton
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Beth Ann Brown Childs
I liked this book a lot about a newly single woman and her autistic child. Her budding teenage daughter didn't help the situation. This is Carol Stratton's first novel and it is a study into the problems of stress and anxiety after losing her high profile editor position, the sale of her San Francisco home, moving to Michigan and of resolution and redemption. This Christian novel is a wonderful book and would be good for a book club. ...more
Ane Mulligan
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I liked it, even if it was a bit suspenseful! lol I'm Queen of the Big Honkin' Chicken Club, but our book club read it, so I persevered, albeit trembling. If you're a mystery/suspense reader, you'll love it!! ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a story that will stay with you long after you've read it. Do you feel like your life is spinning out of control? Do you not know where your next pay check is coming from? This story demonstrates how God answers prayers in surprising ways. If you think you like the life you now live, God may just have another idea for you. Embrace it. The rewards can be astonishing. The story is well told with well developed characters. It's easy to place yourself at the serene Lake Surrender. ...more
Sherry Cross
May 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I did not intend to like this book. I didn't like the selfish characters. I didnt like Bryan, I didnt like Ally, I didnt like her parents. All selfish! But when Ally, her kids, and at the end Bryan had all been transformed by the renewal of their minds (Rom. 12:1-2), I found myself liking them very much. The book takes the reader on a faith journey, and it is good. I recommend this book highly.
A beautiful story of resilience, faith, love, and forgiveness. I loved the characters--they were flawed but amazing. The relationship between Ally and Will developed so naturally that they didn't even realize what was happening, and their care and love for both Benji and Bryan was touching--all this as Ally discovers and grows in faith. Aunt Nettie and Kylie are wonderful and believable as well. ...more
Jonathan Deaton
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! A great story of healing, romance and real life, of finding Jesus. I am passionate about camp ministry and loved the setting. Carol paints beautiful pictures with her descriptions, I felt like I experienced some time in Michigan. Beautiful read, I laughed and cried. Recommend!
Mollie Bond
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that you need to plan on not sleeping much! I found myself flipping the pages and saying, "just one more page" even though it was far into the night. I know you will enjoy Carol's creativity in wording, brilliant storyline, and fun character development. ...more
Lynda Knapp
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So good I hated to see it end.

I definitely recommend this book. I enjoyed Ally's journey - both the physical and the spiritual. Will was a good match for her. I loved the children.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Worthwhile Read!

Loved the characters. Since I'm originally from MI. I especially liked the locale. Uplifting story and shows it is never to late to turn your life over to God.
Paula R Berry
Lake suurrender

Quick u pick read Christian love Nd commitment. Family, trust, and realization of new Nd old values pop up, limericks in the spring. Overwritten.
Kimberly Poisso
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this!

I loved this book! As a mom, it is relatable. As a human, it is relatable. All the struggles, and grace.......oh, just read it already!!!!
Cortney Donelson
You’ll Love This Story!

The characters, the setting, the plot...Carol Stratton hits all the top marks in this sweet yet riveting tale. Highly recommend!
sheryl hansen
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely worth reading.

Nice relationship building storyline. ‘Didn’t see that coming’ a few times through kept you engaged throughout the book. Definitely recommended.
A Beautiful Story of forgiveness and starting over

Lake Surrender by Carol Grace Stratton tells the story of Ally. She is recently divorced and caring for a twelve year old daughter and a six year old autistic son. At the beginning of the book, she feels like the world is crashing down on her. Not only has her marriage ended, but she has to sell the house because she can't afford it on her own. Then she gets devastating news - she is losing her job as an editor because the company is merging with
Lisa Johnson
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Title: Lake Surrender
Author: Carol Grace Stratton
Pages: 280
Year: 2014
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5+ stars out of 5
In the story, we are introduced to a woman who is losing her job, has two children with one being autistic and a looming divorce. The woman’s name is Ally and on top of all these changes, she must move as she is unable to keep her home with her diminishing income. A single aunt invites Ally to come to
Nadine Keels
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a brief look over the blurb, I expected author Carol Grace Stratton’s debut novel, Lake Surrender, would be a nice enough story, and for much of the book, I did indeed think the story was nice—divorced, laid-off, single mother Ally trying to get her life together during a relocation to Michigan—but somewhere around the last third of the book or so, it started getting amazing to me.

Not only is the novel’s romance and suspense well-paced but so are the gradual changes in Ally’s outlook and
Lori Wasson
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was about a single mom dealing with so much in her life....job loss, divorce, money issues, losing her home, raising a child with autism...when she ends up moving from California to Michigan to live with her aunt. She finds a job as a cook at a camp and gets so much more than she bargained for.

First, I really enjoyed the camp setting for the book. Camp has meant a lot to me off and on throughout my life and really liked that backdrop in the book. I also thought that the characters were
Cindy Huff
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lake Surrender is a Soul Searching Read
Carol Grace Stratton’s debut Novel is full of aha moments and realistic challenges. The Cervantes family have many struggles to overcome. As newly divorced, Ally Cervantes finds life even harder. Her high-powered career as an Acquisition Editor for a children’s publisher is downsized out of existence, making it impossible to continue to live in her upscale home in Los Angeles. Transplanting her two children, autistic six year old Benjie and feisty 12 year o
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As Carol Grace Stratton’s debut novel, this was one powerful story. Ally Cervantes, a children’s publisher for a high-powered Los Angelus publisher, has been divorced by her husband, left to sell her house, left to raise two children alone (one with autism), and down-sized from her job. With finances tight, she takes up her Aunt Nettie’s offer to stay in her cabin on Lake Surrender, MI, until she can find another publishing job.

Carol has laced her story with plots and subplots that keep the stor
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lake Surrender is a million wonderful things wrapped into one amazing story. Carol Stratton portrays a a strong woman who faces loss with courage and loves with grace. Woven into her life are an almost-teen who needs reassurance and firmness, and an autistic son she showers with affection and tenderness. The story is filled with love, laughter, faith, struggle, and tears. You will surrender your heart to this touching story. I can't wait for more! ...more
Elaine Cooper
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Lake Surrender" by Carol Stratton is a story that grabs you and pulls you from one chapter to the next as you root for the protagonist who is plagued by one heartache after another. Ally Cervantes is a California divorcee with an autistic child, a job loss due to the economy and few options left in her troubled life. She grabs the only lifeline she can: An offer by her aunt to bring her two children and live with her in the cottage on Lake Surrender, Michigan. Things go from bad to worse as All ...more
Beth Ann
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Beth Ann by: Frankie Tipton
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I snagged it in a Kindle sale so was happy to add it to my collection. It was a quick read and while it is a Christian book it is not one of those in your face Christian books that gets obnoxious.
The story centers around a family with newly divorced parents who have two children--one autistic which adds another dimension to the story. The eventual relocation of the mom and children from California to Michigan because of downsizing in both the fami
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I have been a freelance writer of articles for years before I got my first break with my devotional, Changing Zip Codes.

My debut novel, Lake Surrender came from experiences I had in an autistic classroom as I learned to step into these children's world. I have a soft spot for single parents and parents of special needs children.

I also love camp and have had some significant life events happen at a

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