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Mistik Lake
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Mistik Lake

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  536 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Odella is haunted by family secrets. Why doesn't her great-aunt Gloria visit anymore? Why does her mother, Sally, drink so much? Sally's tragic car accident on a frozen lake when she was sixteen seems to have cast a spell over her life that no one can break. Odella tries to hold her family together, but when her mother runs off, the family is left reelin ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published May 1st 2007)
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Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Choisi au hasard à la bibliothèque - bon, quand même en pensant que l'histoire pourrait me plaire, je ne suis pas si téméraire ;-) Très belle surprise, une histoire de vies, d'adolescence, de secrets de famille, de rêves et de racines (d'Islande, en l'occurrence).
Un style fluide, des chapitres courts qui alternent les voix de plusieurs membres d'une famille (les trois filles, la grand-tante Gloria).
Une auteur que je retiens.
Sarah Key
May 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
I didn't like this book at all, which is odd because I like family secrets. Kill all the adverbs.
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Una bonita y sencilla historia de secretos y relaciones familiares.
Mar 31, 2017 added it
This novel explores the lives and secrets of three generations of females in a Canadian family, especially teenage Odella, who is the narrator of most chapters. For years, Odella has coped with, and protected, her mother which was an alcoholic, Sally, who finally deserts the family. Sally never truly recovered after surviving a terrible accident near Mistik Lake, which was described dramatically to pull the readers attention.

Personally I felt the book was physically and emotionally touching t
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Story Description:

Sixteen-year-old Sally is the only survivor when a car full of teenagers plunges through the ice to the bottom of Mistik Lake. Many years later, Sally’s daughter Odella is left wondering whether the accident is to blame for her mother’s life as a sad alcoholic who eventually abandons her family and flees to Iceland with another man. Odella, her father and two younger sisters are almost overwhelmed with grief and confusion until three people provide help and healing in unexpecte
Rachel Knorr
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mistik Lake is a great book for teenagers in High school to read. The book has a lot of family secrets that the main character finds out throughout the book. The main character is in high school and her mother leaves her family. She also has to deal with job changes and love during the book. The main character is a great leader in her family and she also knows how to handle situation good. Her family goes through some hard times when her mom leaves and her aunt starts to have secrets she doesn't ...more
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: floab-challenge
Good character development and nice treatment of family issues.
Cecily Kyle
A really well written novel and great to read one that takes place in Canada.
Sad but beautiful coming of age story, a quick and easy read! Unfortunately, not super memorable.
Decent read.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Odella is the oldest child and fulfills an almost parental role for her two younger sisters. However, after (possibly) falling in love with Jimmy, Odella begins changing. As she changes, so do the dynamics of her family. Her mother has constantly grappled with psychological issues, which everyone knows is tied to a major car crash that occurred during her teenage years. Very few know the extent of its impact. Odella is growing and learning the truth behind her family's secrets.

I thought the twi
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It's interesting however, does not make the readers feel sucked in with the characters and a lot of romance that's not needed in some chapters.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
In 1943, Gloria fell in love with a girl.

In 1981, her niece Sally and some other high school kids were driving on frozen Mistik Lake and it went through the ice. Sally was the only survivor.

In 2000, Sally runs off with an icelandic filmmaker, and her oldest daughter Odella has to pick up the pieces. The secrets and lost loves of the past reverberate through the story, but this is really Odella’s story - as she falls apart, picks herself up, falls in love.

As I was reading this one, I kept thinkin
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book I read was Mistik Lake written by Martha Brooks. It is a story of a girl named Odella who has to take care of herself and her family, while bearing many family secrets. I enjoyed this book because it was relatable, passionate, and heartfelt.
Her mom has a cold past and eventually abandons the rest of her family and moves to Iceland. While there, she dies in a car accident and Odella struggles to take care of herself and her younger sisters with the help of her dad. She meets a boy named
"Mistik Lake" by Martha Brooks won the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Award and being a Canadian book I knew in advance that the book would be liberal in its ideas and themes and I was correct.

"Mistik Lake" contains an array of small town characters whose lives are all intertwined. There is the lesbian Aunt Gloria, the schizophrenic mother, the runaway mother who has children from three different partners, the architect father and the teenage daughter who has sex.

I enjoyed the book, b
I didn't like this book for a number of reasons. Three stand out the most. One, it very much clashes with my own standards and values and I don't really enjoy books like that. But that's me and I wouldn't turn readers away from that because of my own personal preferences. Two, I am still trying to get if there was a point to the book. I'll blame myself for that one, too. Three, the way the book was written confused me. I think listening to it on audio added to the confusion. It took me a while t ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by JodiG. for

For some people, the times in their lives in which everything finally comes together are the same times that everything falls apart.

Meet Odella, a teenage girl whose family is drowning in secrets. Odella and her two sisters are adjusting to the fact that their mother has abandoned them to move to Iceland with another man. Now they are faced with their mother's death. Odella must now deal with questions about her mother that may remain unanswered. Why did h
Rebecca Sorriaux
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Titre : Mistik Lake
Auteur : Martha Brooks
Editeur : Alice Jeunesse
Date de parution : 15/04/2010
Résumé : Par une nuit glacée de l'hiver 1981, dans le Grand Nord canadien, une voiture fit une folle virée sur la surface gelée de Mistik Lake, puis dérapa avant de couler à pic. Des quatre jeunes occupants, il y eut une seule survivante : Sally. Ce tragique accident est le point de départ d'une histoire de famille, avec ses secrets, ses non-dits, ses révélations... Aux côtés de ses deux soeurs cadettes
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I scan the audio book shelves at the library, I usually look for something I'd heard of one way or another (either from seeing it in a bookstore, recommended by a friend, or having read a review of it by a blogger.) I'd never heard of "Mistik Lake," but something about it caught my eye and I checked it out.

I'm glad I did. Only four discs long, and there was a lot of story jammed in here. Only it didn't feel jammed at all. The writing flowed in and out, beautiful and highly enjoyable. The st
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Mistik Lake is told in alternating chapters from the point of view of three characters: Odella, the primary narrator, whose story is the one told in the first person, her Great-Aunt Gloria, and Jimmy Tomasson, a young man Odell's age. But the character who is at the center of the web of stories is a woman long known to all of Mistik Lake: Odella's mother, Sally McLean. [return][return]"On a stone-cold night in 1981 a carload of teenagers went joyriding out on frozen Mistik Lake. The car careened ...more
Later in bed, as all of this sink in, I concentrated on convincing myself that maybe it's kind of like having a tooth pulled. Afterwards, there's a space that you're aware of for a while. Your tongue goes to it every morning when you are waking up - exploring where the tooth was, the little injured place where the gum is still red, pulpy and tender. Then one morning you wake up and you forget to check for the missing tooth.
It's, however, so much worse than that!

Those were Odella'a words after he
Susan  Dunn
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: washyarg, ya-fiction
Mistik Lake is a tiny town in Manitoba. Three generations of women have spent significant parts of their lives there: Gloria, her niece Sally, and Sally’s daughter Odella. Although Mistik Lake is a beautiful place, it is also home to heartbreak and tragedy. When she was fifteen, Sally was the only survivor of an accident in which three other local teenagers were killed. The accident – and the part that Sally played in it – affected her entire life. The reader sees these effects in the stories of ...more
Nov 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alissa by: Laurie
Shelves: young-adult, 2008, audio
The audio version of this was recommended by a friend, and I was enjoying it so much that I pulled the book off the shelf to finish it.

This a young adult novel focusing on the family secrets of 17-year-old Odella. Mistik Lake is where her mother grew up and where her family has a summer cabin. This is a novel of family secrets, sisterhood and falling in love. It’s a typical YA problem novel, and packs in pretty much every issue imaginable, but it’s handled well and is believable. The narration s
Katarina Janjuseic
Apr 11, 2010 rated it liked it
The book "Mistik Lake", is a realistic fiction narrative by Martha Brooks. In the story, the main character's (Odella McLean) mother, Sally, moves to Iceland, leaving her three daughters with their father at Mistik Lake. A few years later, however, she passes away, which greatly changes Odella and her family. She eventually discovers secrets about her family which her mother never told her.

An interesting aspect of this book is the fact that it follows the events in the lives of three characte
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who want thoughtful stories about high-schoolers
Shelves: young-adult
This came recommended, but I was never really sold on it. The writing was evocative and the characters and setting had potential, but the whole shebang never really came alive for me. There were too many jolts back and forward in time, shifts which would have been intriguing with a longer, more in-depth story. It reminded me of The Red Shoe, both in the way I wanted to really like it, but didn't quite, and in the way the relationships between sisters were treated. Both books invoked certain aspe ...more
Jessie Marie
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
HOLY COW! This is an incredibly written book! I'm so glad my daughter pulled it off the shelf. I would have never picked it out on my own.
Odella is a 17 year-old girl who has lost her mother in many ways. She is a strong intelligent girl, who is beyond her years more than is fair. When the loss of her mother starts an unraveling of secrets she's really just along for the ride. Luckily she has the support of Jimmy, a boy of whom is connected to her family from past generations and who proves (i
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
Odella's family is complicated. Her mother, after years of drinking, runs off to Iceland with a new man and dies, leaving Odella, her dad, and her two sisters left angry, confused, and hurt.

They all deal with it in different ways. But it all stems from the accident Odella's mother was in on Mistik Lake - or in it. Though she wasn't driving, she was the only one to survive.

Now Odella is trying to put the family back together. But more secrets are revealed. Can they survive them?

Interesting writin
Jun 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian
BBYA * 2008 Outstanding International Books * CLA YA Book of the Year
Odella was only 17 – she was *not* prepared when her mother left her, her sisters, and their father in Manitoba and moved to Iceland with another man. It seemed like Odella’s whole life her mother had been haunted by a car accident that happened when she had been a teenager on Mistik Lake, leaving her the sole survivor in a carload of teenagers. But her mother’s abandonment is only the start of the family’s journey, leaving Od
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it, but just one week after having finished it, I need to reread the summary to remind myself of the story. Yes, I remember now. But obviously not a completely gripping plot or mesmerizing character(s); just a believable, good story, and it is deftly written. The part that sticks in my mind is the aunt, who is like a fairy godmother, and is lesbian--probably the fact that it's such a shock for the main character is the reason I remember that so well. I could see the 'surprise' at the end ...more
Dec 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Multi-layered story about a 17y.o. girl unraveling secrets of her mother's past. Secret #1 I figured out about 2 chapters in advance. Secret #2 I didn't even suspect. As for the secret of the accident after which Sally (Odella's mother) was the lone survivor, that didn't surprise me so much; the truth helped Odella understand her mother's drinking, depression, and nightmares, but it did not change my perception of Sally. I liked the dad in this story. In the beginning I wondered if he would be e ...more
Sally is the sole survival of a tragic car accident, and her sadness and guilt hide secrets that haunt the lives of three generations of women in the family.

Yet another book I would give a rating of 3 and 1/2 stars, if it were possible.

I finished this simply written book in a few hours, and was impressed by the depth of the emotions shared by family members. Unlike most current young adult novels, where a dysfunctional family is the norm, there is great familial affection shown. Recommended for
Nov 12, 2008 rated it liked it
I am beginning a campaign of reading YA literature again, since I work in a middle/highschool library. this book starts out kind of dull and superficial, but ends up being very engaging and deals with really big issues -- alcoholic parents, infidelity, family secrets, young love, depression, death/suicide -- without becoming hysterical. it also deals with issues of heritage and culture as it is set in canada in a rural community of 3rd generation icelandic immigrants that is based on the author' ...more
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Martha Brooks is an award-winning novelist, playwright and jazz singer whose books have been published in Spain, Italy, Japan, Denmark, England, Germany and Australia, as well as in Canada and the United States. She is a three-time winner of the Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year, as well as the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Governor General’s Award ...more
“thoughts are cheap and they don't hurt anybody” 6 likes
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