Review Blog

Jan 22 2016

The Lake House by Kate Morton

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Allen & Unwin, 2015. ISBN 9781742376516
(Age; YA - Adult) Recommended. Themes: Family; Murder; Mystery; War impacts. For those who are already Kate Morton enthusiasts, this will be another book to devour during a holiday break. But, if like me, you have not yet discovered Kate Morton, then I can recommend this Australian author's Detective/Mystery Drama written for an adult audience. Morton deftly weaves the stories of a young female Police detective who is under an employment cloud because of her handling of a recent case, and the family history of a renowned Murder mystery writer who hides her own family mystery. The drama is all set in Cornwall in the old Lake House, mostly during the 1930's or in the current reinvestigation of the cold case and the central mystery involving a young child. Threaded through the investigation are reminders of the power of a parent's connection to their child, and of the heartache of those who dearly want to be parents, but are unable to have their own children.
This is not a quick-read book (595 pages), but it can be savoured as you 'relocate' to Cornwall and participate in the life of the socially elite of the early 1900s. Morton then takes the reader on a journey backwards and forwards in time, and through the perspectives of individual participants in the drama. Characterisation is wonderfully detailed, and nuanced; even the characters we don't immediately love or who are not central in the story have psychological depth that is slowly unpeeled.
Although this is essentially a book for adults, this is a book that could entertain a young adult reader as the plot journey takes us through the life of a 16 year old at the time of the mystery at the Lake House.
Carolyn Hull

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