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Daughters of the Lake

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  27 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Daughters of the Lake is a contemporary family drama set in Switzerland. Madalena invites her four adult children to celebrate her hotel's fortieth anniversary, unaware of their tensions and secrets. As the day of the celebration approaches, confused emotions take hold, and the occasion goes badly wrong. Set against a backdrop of mountains and lakes, this is a story of lov ...more
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published November 28th 2014 by Jane Riddell
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Sandra Olshaski
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Upon reading the first paragraph, I immediately liked the excellent style of writing. "Vienne's silence rebuked her as she awaited an answer; the tick of the grandfather clock sounded menacing; the harbour horn suggested impatience." I love learning new words.
The author writes "the engines chuntered." Webster's dictionary says regarding the word "chunter" that it was first used in 1599 and that it means "to talk in a low, inarticulate way." Synonyms are "mumble, murmur, mutter." How descriptive
...more
Carrie Lahain
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Family life is not for the fainthearted. Just ask siblings Portia, Vienne, Annie and Lawrence, all of whom have returned to Brunnen, Switzerland to help their widowed mother Madalena celebrate the fortieth anniversary of her lakeside hotel. These adult children, all within waving distance of middle age, share a lifetime of love, rivalry, attachment and betrayal. Add the complications of their individual situations--failed or troubled marriages, resentful children, career confusion--and the reuni ...more
Clare O'Beara
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: europe, fiction
Setting and atmosphere are the main features of the tale, which evokes a Swiss lakeside resort with a respectable English family reunion. Having run the hotel with her husband for thirty-five years and another five since his death, Madalena now summons her family for a forty-year celebration.

One of her daughters is a barrister (suitably named Portia), another a concert pianist with nerves and fear of illness. Another is trying to come to terms with the fact that her lady partner has left her fo
...more
Melanie
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, fiction
(3.5 stars) If you enjoy family drama, this is the book for you! This is a family with secrets and some of them are big ones!

The book is set in Switzerland and is the story of Madalena and her four children: Lawrence, 41, Portia, 40, Vienne, 37, and Annie, 35. We don't learn much about Lawrence (hence, the name of the book) but enough to know that he's not close to the rest of them. Portia and Annie are tight and Vienne is left out and it doesn't take long to realize the reason for that.

It too
...more
Melinda
Mar 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Visit A Tattered Copy for more reviews & giveaways

I love stories focused on dysfunctional families, serves as a distraction from my own family troubles. My life is always a cake walk compared to the families in narratives.

Purely character driven, a family reunion unleashes secrets and individual hidden issues unknown to family members. Lots of friction, spats and suspicion float about, a tension filled reunion without a doubt. Twists galore provide captivating reading.

Family reunions were
...more
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I did, but it started out rather slow for my taste. I know that characters need to be developed, but it felt a bit sluggish. I found myself wanting to put the book down a few times. However, once the second half of the book started, I really did want to know what happened to the characters. And although I wasn’t totally thrilled with how some of the story ended, it did make sense. There were many ways characters could have crashed and burned Gatsby-style in this novel, but ...more
Emma Crowley
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Daughters of the Lake is the first book I have read by Jane Riddell and I have to say the title is very apt. The setting of the book is Switzerland and a beautiful family run hotel next to a lake. Matriarch of the Fontana family Madelena has summoned her children and their spouses back from wherever they now live in order to announce a big surprise. Also the hotel is at a crossroads as it is celebrating its 40th anniversary and change is afoot. It's obvious family secrets are waiting to be revea ...more
Gmr
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story about family, love, friendship, buried secrets, and just what we do to and for the ones we hold dear. Initially when I began reading, I admit I was thinking that the cast of characters seemed to wide for my current mindset...you know, sometimes you're looking for a no-fuss-no-muss type of read...but once I got into things, there was no turning back AND no forgetting anyone either. Everyone had their role to play and became a memorable part of a literary family I felt g ...more
Rajalakshmi Prithviraj
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Families can be complicated and the lesser said about dysfunctional families the better. Yet, in the end, it is families that really matter.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of a lady named Madalena living in Switzerland. She has planned a reunion at home with her middle aged children joining in. Why dysfunctional? Because each one has a personal battle to fight. For the what, why and how, you really need to read this book. What really caught my attention was Madalena, the mother.
...more
Sarah
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. To be honest, based on the cover, I was a little dubious about what this book could offer me. A little drab and, quite frankly, a little dated, I was expecting a hard slog and a basic plot. However, readers be warned: do not be deceived! Once I had got into the story, I found Daughters of the Lake intriguing, surprising and one that kept me interested right until the very end.

Riddell writes about this family from
...more
Nancy Silk
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"An Extraordinary Story of Family Secrets and Deception", April 18, 2015
By Nancy of Utah (Northern Utah) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Daughters of the Lake (Kindle Edition)
This is a story of love, betrayal, and family conflict set in beautifully described Switzerland scenery. Madalena owns Hotel Zurbriggen, which she and her husband bought in 1969 and where all her four children were raised. Her husband had been killed in a climbing accident five years earlier. She has invited all he
...more
Nick Rossi
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Jane Riddell's "Daughters of the Lake" is a welcome entry into the family drama genre of storytelling. It's swept up in waves of emotion, tension, and passion - all of the standard requirements for this style of writing.

Madalena, the owner of a hotel that is turning 40, has made the decision to invite her four adult children over to Switzerland to help celebrate the milestone anniversary. As all of her children arrive, so does the heightened tension and relationsh
...more
Grass monster
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Daughters of the Lake, is a story about Madalena and her four children, Portia, Vienne, Annie and Lawrence. They all return to Switzerland to attend The 40th anniversary of the family run Lakeside hotel that Madalena still owns and runs. As the family re unite we learn that Portia is a barrister and divorced with a 13 year old daughter named Lucy. Vienne is a famous pianist, who doesnt trust husband Michael and is stressing about her health. Annie runs a cafe and has recently been dumped by her ...more
Julie
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Within the story, the author makes reference to Anita Brookner’s ‘Hotel du lac’ and as a reader, you can’t help looking at the parallels, there is indeed a hotel set by the lake in Switzerland and the prose has a literary feel to it. On the other hand, the style is far more engaging than Brookner’s and makes for an excellent read without being ‘dry’. When the four siblings are gathered together, the reader knows that secrets are bound to be revealed and the interaction between the three sisters ...more
Laurie
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Despite a very etherial sounding title, this book was an inside look at a dysfunctional family, keeping secrets from each other. When their widowed mother invites everyone home to celebrate the anniversary of their hotel, the secrets begin to unravel. Infidelities, broken relationships and guilt play out against the beautiful swiss location of the story. The author is from the UK, so American readers will need to adjust to the different spellings and some of slang used. At times the descriptions ...more
Spunky N Sassy
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
SNSBAH Rating: 5.0

~~~~~~~~~~Lindsey's ★★★★★ Review~~~~~~~~~~

Family reunions always mean high drama. Visit Switzerland for this funny, suspenseful, warm read!
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Jane Riddell grew up in Glasgow, Scotland but defected to Edinburgh in her thirties, after living in New Zealand and Australia. For many years she worked for the NHS as a dietitian and health promoter. In 2006 she took a career break to move with her family to Grenoble, France, for three years. During this time she wrote more seriously, so seriously that when she returned to Edinburgh she decided ...more
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