Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Lake Becomes the River” as Want to Read:
Where the Lake Becomes the River
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where the Lake Becomes the River

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  13 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Kate Betterton creates an unforgettable extended Southern family and vividly brings to life its dreams, its disappointments--and yes, even its beloved ghosts.
Hardcover, 378 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Novello Festival Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Lake Becomes the River, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Where the Lake Becomes the River

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-28
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  13 ratings  ·  7 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Where the Lake Becomes the River
D.W. Frauenfelder
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'd like to know what others think of this book. It's a fascinating read on many levels-- sometimes it reads a little like To Kill a Mockingbird, sometimes like A Thousand Years of Solitude, and sometimes like a debut novelist trying to wrestle a big story into shape. It's not from a big New York publisher, so it's not going to get big attention unless others try it and like it. ...more
This book won the Novello Literary Award. It is a bookclub book. I didn’t hate this. I liked the story line. I liked the main character. The story is about Parrish McCullough. Her father dies when she is 6. She spends the rest of her childhood trying to figure out life vs. death. Race relations plays a big part in the storyline. The author starts the book in Mississippi out right before Parrish goes to college. Then she takes us back to when Parrish was born in Japan. One of the things I thought ...more
Debbie Maskus
Nov 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Kate Betterton writes brilliantly, with vivid settings and interesting characters, but the story hammers a life of doom and gloom. Parrish, an artistic and gifted child, dwells on death. Her school essays all recount the theme of death and hopelessness. The story begins in Japan, after WWII, but quickly changes to Mississippi with its racial tension and the supremacy of the Klu Klux Clan. Betterton explores the problems of Southern life: the tension between the "blacks" and the "whites", the dis ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2016
This novel reminds me that good fiction tells deeper truths than non-fiction ever can. Betterton is a local author (Chapel Hill) who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, where her novel is set. Through the voice of character Parrish McCullough we follow the development of her family, meeting a wide range of characters -- human and ghostly -- and dealing with racial issues during the Civil Rights era. Parrish spends a great deal of time pondering death and what follows this life on earth. Betterton' ...more
Eric Maier
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
I've known Kate for several years and she is a wonderful person and a great writer. This book touched me. It explored major issues such as racism and death. It was well written and the characters were full and believable.

I enjoyed reading this even though it is outside of my normal genre (sci-fi/fantasy). The only part I did not like was the very last chapter. The entire book follows one character, Parrish, but the last chapter is about her descendants and has totally different main characters,
Amy (Bossy Bookworm)
Oct 28, 2008 marked it as to-read
2008 Novello Literary Award, for what that's worth ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it liked it
Nov 26, 2009
Darla Davis
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2012
rated it really liked it
May 25, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Mar 31, 2009
Lynn Shurden
A MS writer who explains the Delta in such a way that all can understand it. Great read!
rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2008
rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2015
added it
Sep 02, 2008
marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2008
marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2008
marked it as to-read
Jan 05, 2009
marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2009
Kathy Hester
marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2009
added it
Jun 04, 2009
Lisa Guidarini
marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2009
Lisa Newton-Smart
marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2010
Jo Aitken
marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Crystal Casparis
marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Nathan Ham
marked it as to-read
May 19, 2018
is currently reading it
Oct 25, 2020
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Kate Betterton grew up in the Mississippi Delta, and has lived in Minnesota, New England, and the Pacific Northwest. She now makes her home in North Carolina.
Kate's new novel, THE ROMANTIC'S GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL, a quirky metaphysical literary romance, is now available in paperback and as a Kindle e-book edition, on Amazon:
Synopsis: Billy Charbonneau, a charismatic young homeless man,

News & Interviews

Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine, explores what it means to take risks for love, and for yourself, in her newest...
108 likes · 11 comments