Sinking Into Kim Edwards' The Lake of Dreams
Kim Edwards' latest novel, The Lake of Dreams, deals with things that as writers and readers we find so fascinating. It is a novel of family and dreams. It asks us to consider how the past shapes who we are and how we're supposed to find out who we're meant to be.
I have to confess that I have not read Edwards' most popular novel, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, but after reading The Lake of Dreams, I want to. I've often said that I can be an impatient reader. I rush through books, gobbling them down like a kid tackling a dripping ice-cream cone. There is something about Edwards' writing that forces me to slow down and not rush. It was a perfect read for these cool autumn evenings. I'd curl up with the book and slip away to a small town called The Lake of Dreams.
Lucy Jarrett has been running for years, she just never really realized it. She started in high school with the wanderlust that she believed to have inherited from her great-grandfather. She went to college across the country from her family and spent her adult life living abroad. When an accident sends her home for an extended stay, she finds herself facing both the past and the many changes of the present.
No family is perfect, and perhaps those that present themselves as such are the least so. Lucy grew up believing the family mythology that was told to her of her great-grandfather. His story had been written in the collective memory long before she came along. When a series of discoveries occur in her first days back home -- a blanket, a window and then a stash of letters -- and she uncovers a relative she's never heard of, she starts to question everything she was told about her family.
Struggling to piece together a new family history, she also faces the buried grief of her father's death and the realization that while she's been running from it time has not stood still for her family. They've grown and changed while she's been abroad.
The Lake of Dreams tackles the question of whether we can go home again. We can. We just can't expect it to be the same as when we left.
We'll be discussing Kim Edwards' The Lake of Dreams for the next month in BlogHer Book Club Come join us!