Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb (Review)

Release date: November 1st, 2018
Author link: Goodreads - Website - Twitter
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 317 (Kindle edition)

Description (from Goodreads):

After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…

One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.

As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.

I am not sure if I have ever read a book quite like this before. Daughters of the Lake is a mix of a thriller/mystery and a paranormal novel. All in all, it ended up being quite different than I expected.

Daughters of the Lake was a total cover buy for me and I ended up purchasing  it without taking a glimpse on the synopsis. I also started to read it the moment I bought it, which is uncommon for me because I have a tendency to hoard on books I don't plan on reading right away.

I am happy I didn't give any attention to the synopsis or to reviews of this book because if I had known about the paranormal element (ghosts) I probably would not have picked this one up. By the time those elements make their first appearance I was already so deep into the story that I didn't find it justifiable to give up with this just because I don't like that kind of elements in stories in general.

Kate has separated from her husband, quit her job and moved back to her parent's house. Things are not going at all as she had planned and in addition to everything else she has been having extremely vivid dreams in which she feels like she is inhabiting the body of someone else. When the body of a woman is found from the beach next to her parent's house, detectives are baffled. No one seems to know who the woman is or where she has come from. No one other than Kate, who has seen the woman before...in her dreams.

As Kate travels to visit her cousin in the house that used to belong to her ancestors, Kate starts to find out more about her past and the woman from her dreams. Secrets are revealed, connections are made, crimes are solved. In many ways, Daughters of the Lake is a great multi generational story about women of a particular family, women with a shared destiny.

I enjoyed the gothic atmosphere of the novel and especially the chapters that focus on the events from the early 1900s caught my interest with their family secrets and tales. Kate is a fairly interesting character on her own, but for me the connections that she has with the women from the past were the real highlight of Daughters of the Lake.

One thing that constantly annoyed me was the casualness with which the people around Kate take her tales of ghosts and dreams and haunting. Maybe I am too skeptical for my own good, but seriously, if someone were to tell me that they are seeing ghosts and bodies of women they are dreaming of I would probably not be like "okay, cool, let's have a drink." I constantly kept wishing that people would question Kate, because that would have made her an unreliable narrator and thus the book would have likely been even more interesting than it was as it is.

+ multi-generational tale of women
+ gothic atmosphere and interesting description of locations, especially the house in which Kate's ancestors used to live in

- the way in which those around Kate accept her stories about ghosts etc. is not very believable


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