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The Lake of Dreams

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  12,038 ratings  ·  2,000 reviews
Lucy Jarrett is at a crossroads in her life, still haunted by her father's unresolved death a decade earlier. She returns to her hometown in Upstate New York, The Lake of Dreams, and, late one night, she cracks the lock of a window seat and discovers a collection of objects. They appear to be idle curiosities, but soon Lucy realizes that she has stumbled across a dark secr ...more
Hardcover, 377 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Viking (first published November 23rd 2010)
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Gina Yes. It starts out in Japan and there are many small earthquakes, but it's not *about* earthquakes and once the setting changes, the earthquakes are…moreYes. It starts out in Japan and there are many small earthquakes, but it's not *about* earthquakes and once the setting changes, the earthquakes are never brought up again.(less)

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3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,038 ratings  ·  2,000 reviews

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Jan 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated-it
This book is awful. Let me count the ways...
I hate books where the characters act nothing like real people, and this book is a prime example of that failing. If you lived away from home for five + years and returned for an extended visit, and immediately pissed off your brother (who never left, by the way) by telling your mother that his girlfriend was pregnant after he specifically asked you not to do so, would you call him at 1:00 am when you knew he was sleeping next to the prgenant girlfrien
Dec 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
I received this book through Goodreads First Read contest. Thankfully I didn't spend any money on it! I have to be honest and say that I was pretty disappointed in this book. It was hard to believe the same author that wrote my beloved “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” wrote this…this…boring crap of a book. Well, maybe the word “crap” is a little harsh. The book did get a lot of good reviews so it could just be me and my crazy opinions. I just could NOT get into the story at all. I found myself pra ...more
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: bayb-2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love Ms. Edwards lyrical and descriptive language. Every scene is brilliantly painted. Her story was riveting - flowing between past and present with complete ease. I was probably most intrigued by the discovery of old letters and the main character's (Lucy's) journey to decipher the author's (fascinating) story.

But this book has so many components beyond that. There is the veil of mystery surrounding Lucy's father's death, her residual feelings for her first love, her feeling for her current
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-said
This book, while brimming with possibility, is a promise unfulfilled.

A young woman, Lucy, returns from Japan to her upstate New York home, actually a Victorian mansion by The Lake of Dreams, a place from which she has distanced herself since her father’s death. As she adjusts to the changes about her she finds some old documents in a locked window seat, documents that soon reveal an unknown family history.

Having once discovered the old documents Lucy then shares her find with her Mother who jus
Feb 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I made it to about page 100 before giving up.

The author had too many subjects in this book; women's suffrage, Vietnam war, environmentalism are just a few of The Big Issues she tried to weave into a cohesive story that really dragged especially when you add in family secrets, mysterious stained glass windows and letters, a family locksmith business, and a confused young woman poking around in all of it.

The author's previous works (Secrets of a Fire King and The Memory-Keeper's Daughter) were mu
Rebecca McNutt
The Lake of Dreams is certainly no Memory Keeper's Daughter, but it's still a compelling mystery for the most part where small town family life meets the magic of the past.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wish I had liked this book better. It held some promise, at the beginning. But finally, after having persevered and doggedly pursued the end, I mostly just felt let down.

I didn't read The Memory Keeper's Daughter - I kept picking it up, and thinking, maybe, but then putting it back on the shelf at the library. And I almost wish I had done that with this book. It has received mostly good reviews. But.....

1. This story seems like one I've read a million times before. Nothing remarkable, earth sh
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
I had a serious love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the family-history part of the story, both the suffragette's actual story, and how the protagonist traces this forgotten branch of the family through historical archives (what can I say? That sort of thing is crack to a librarian). I also loved the colorful settings and activities the author used and described.

I hated the protagonist, though. Her arrogance, self-centeredness, and sense of entitlement beggared belief for a 29-year-old
Jennifer Rayment
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Good Stuff

Wonderful realistic characters
Author really understands the inner workings of a family and its dynamics
I really understood Lucy's need to understand about her family history
Fascinating information and history and the portrayal of women in organized religion
Loved the character of the priest Suzi and her conversations with Keegan. If she was real, I would actually go to church
I was totally engrossed in the mystery of Rose and Iris and I think I wanted to find out the truth as much as
Mar 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
I totally agree with another reviewer said this book is "awful." That was the only word I could think of to describe it.

Edwards' first book, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, was o.k. Not my favorite book, but worth reading. Edwards wrote a draft of this book long before she wrote her first published book. After Memory Keeper was published, she pulled it out and reworked it. She should have left it in the drawer.

Recently, I attended a literary luncheon with brief talks by three authors. Edwards was
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully written book that pulls you into the world of Lucy Jarrett and the Lake of Dreams her childhood home. A story about life, choices, grief, love, friendship, hidden mysteries, history, women's suffrage, the past meeting the present, secrets and a truth that must come to light.
It's a book that carries you away into another world and you feel bereft when you leave. It's hard to put down especially as the story unfolds and things long hidden start to be revealed. A wonderful read.
The Lake of Dreams is about, and narrated by, 29-year-old Lucy Jarrett. After the trauma of losing her father, who drowned when she was a teenager, Lucy left her hometown behind to go to university and travel the world. At the start of the book, news of her mother suffering an accident prompts her to leave the home she shares in Japan with her boyfriend, Yoshi, and return to her family in America. There, she discovers a package of old pamphlets and letters hidden beneath a window seat. These con ...more
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ugh. Just... ugh.

It started off beautifully.
And then...
-The characters were tedious.
-The dialogue was tedious, indeed. (In contemporary America, do people seriously use "Indeed" commonly when they talk to each other? It seemed to be used so much in this book, it might as well have been slang.)
-Continuity errors with dates, the family lineage.

But most of all...

I could care less about the "protagonist." Lucy was a selfish, condescending well-to-do.
From the trivial details:
Her niece expresses exci
May 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
To be honest, I didn't finish the book, but in all fairness I wanted to quit about five pages in and gave it my best effort. 200 pages later, I finally succumbed to rational thought and replaced this time-suck with something else. I've read The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Secrets of the Fireking, both of which I remember being interesting and well-told. So much so in fact that I have been eagerly awaiting Kim Edward's newest book for two years. Two years, I have searched the Fiction shelves ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Hidden Letters, a father's unexplained death, and stain glass artwork are the three main points that echo throughout this book.

Lucy Jarrett comes home to visit her family at the Lake of Dreams. While there, she faces her past head on. Her high school love, Keegan, and the unexplained death of her father. She discovers some hidden letters in an old window seat and that leads her on a journey through her family's history, uncovering a secret that is fighting to be freed.

I was expecting so much mor
Jan 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lucy Jarrett has been living overseas for several years, most recently in Japan with her partner Yoshi. She is unsettled, looking for direction in her life. On hearing of her mother’s minor accident, she returns home to The Lake of Dreams, where her thoughts turn back to her father’s mysterious death several years ago. Whilst wondering around the large old family home one night unable to sleep, she discovers items that are actually family heirlooms and papers relating to suffragettes, which all ...more
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
oH, WHAT A BOOK!!!! I realized finally that I couldn't get into the book iniitially because I was trying to read in the hospital as my husaband was having surgery. Not the best place to begin a book. Finally, however, I was able to concentrate. So glad that I was.....the characters in this book are people I would want to meet.....people with whom I would want to spend time.
Bre Teschendorf
Sep 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Wow.... This was one of the worst books I have ever read. I didn't finish it... I couldn't. I was trying to force myself and I suddenly realized how stupid that was. Why waste my time?

Reasons I didn't like this book.
1. Uninteresting story line. The "mystery" that the main character uncovers, isn't mysterious enough to hold my attention. It is dull, lacking drama or luster, romance, exciting historical relevance, seriously, "eh."

2. I found this book to be badly written.
A. The author men
May 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
Apparently I had The Memory Keeper's Daughter confused with a book I liked better because I remember being quite happy to get my hands on The Lake of Dreams because it was by the same author. I didn't hate it and I did finish it but I was not completely captivated. Actually, I was kind of captivated by the main character's genealogical sleuthing and her family's past but something, or some things, just annoyed me. As in Memory Keeper's I just never really felt engaged with any of the characters. ...more
Apr 04, 2011 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book because I enjoyed "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," but, alas, it was not to be. The writing was heavy-handed, the plot--not terribly compelling to begin with--plodded, and the characters were so numerous they became one-dimensional in order to cram them all into the story. I wish the author had spent more time making the historical events come to life and less time waxing rhapsodic about the stillness of the night air and the ripples on the lake water.

For me, the
Deb Coco
Nov 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
I don't often write reviews but this book is truly painful. I liked Memory Keepers Daughter (although anyone I recommended it to cursed me). The main character here is one of the most annoying in any book I've ever read...self indulgent and self centered. I haven't even finished the book but don't know whether to go on. Lucy is so distasteful that I don't care what happens to her or the mystery she's uncovered. The book drags on with endless description about things that don't matter at all like ...more
Lori Anaple
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
DISCLAIMER: This is the first book that I have ever read by Kim Edwards and it might be my last, let me explain...

First of all, this should of been a book that I enjoyed thoroughly. It's about a young woman named Lucy Jarrett who's about to turn 30 and is at a major cross roads in her life. When her mom gets into a car accident, she goes home to visit, and discovers a family secret that has never been uncovered before. Sounds good, right? I thought so too at the time.

Secondly, the book takes pl
Cathy(The Crazy Bookworm)
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This book is intense but in a fantastic way. Kim Edwards pulls you in and doesn't let you go. I immediately fell in love with her writing style. She was descriptive and detailed but it wasn't over done, it flowed nicely. This is my first book by Kim Edwards, but it won't be my last!

The characters were perfect, it was small cast which made it easy to build a connection with each character. The author created such riveting and interesting characters they made it much harder to put the book do
Debbie Sweeney
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hmmmmm-apparently I am in the minority here, but I loved this book. I love the beautiful imagery of all things nature, loved the family dynamics, loved the female strength messages, and the intertwining stories. All of us are on journeys, becoming who we are supposed to be, with bumps in the road and crossroads periodically. I wish I had known that at the back of the book there is a family tree that would have helped immensely had it been AT THE FRONT OF THE BOOK-HELLO! But well worth the read 😊
Emily de Moura
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: small-towns
The first book I ever read by Kim Edwards was The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Her words and her prose and the way she deals with her characters' emotions had an impact on me, so much that I bought The Lake of Dreams soon after and devored it. But this happened back in 2011, and, six years later, I hardly remembered what had happened, so I decided to reread it and decide if I'd give the book away or if I'd keep it. To be honest, I was even a bit worried I wouldn't like it as much as I did the first ...more
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mysteries, ebooks
When I sit down with a new book and think for a moment of the characters and settings and plots that I hope to soon encounter, I wonder how close the book will be to some unquantifiable ideal that I have. And after two DNFs in a row, I was beginning to worry. And then I cracked open this one, and this is the sort of book that I wish every book could be. The characters are terrific and have just enough in the way of flaws, but the novel is not entirely character-driven; there is actually a decent ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
We meet Lucy and her boyfriend “Yoshi” in the midst of slew of aftershocks that are hitting Japan. First of all, really? “Yoshi?” Did Ms. Edwards look to an aging Mario Brothers game for names? Next, being from southern California and having experienced 2 major quakes and countless smaller quakes, I can tell you, you don’t contemplate life and/or death as is described in the first chapter of this book. The first chapter almost killed the book for me in fact.

Lucy travels home to The Lake of Dream
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was anxious to read Kim Edward's latest release after having enjoyed her debut novel The Memory Keeper's Daughter, some five years earlier. In her latest novel, Lucy Jarrett, the novel's protagonist, had been living in Japan with her boyfriend Yoshi, an architect. Some ten years earlier, the summer before Lucy was leaving for college, her father had drowned in a boating accident back home in Lake of Dreams, New York. Lucy has blamed herself from time to time for her father's death, because he ...more
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Date inconsistencies SPOILER ALERT 4 71 Mar 17, 2013 12:27PM  
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Kim Edwards grew up in Skaneateles, New York, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region. The oldest of four children, she graduated from Colgate University and the University of Iowa, where she received an MFA in Fiction and an MA in Linguistics. After completing her graduate work, she went with her husband to Asia, where they spent the next five years teaching, first on the rural east coast of Mala ...more
“The challenges in this place are real and sometimes very difficult, but I've learned to slow down and look for beauty in my days, for the mysteries and blessings woven into everything, into the very words we speak.” 10 likes
“Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too. It was humbling to consider all these authors, struggling with this word or that phrase, recording their thoughts for people they'd never meet. In that same way, the detritus of the boxes was humbling - receipts, jotted notes, photos with no inscriptions, all of it once held together by the fabric of lives now finished, gone.” 7 likes
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