One thing is for certain: Sarah Addison Allen knows how to tell a story. So much so, that even when you know where you are headed, you are sucked in and absorbed as if you had no clue.
Lost Lake, the author's fifth book, is the story of Kate, who has lost her young husband to an accident, and her daughter, Devin. Kate has allowed herself a year to be "asleep": she's gone through the motions but wasn't entirely aware of anything. But just as she's about to move into her mother-in-law's home, Kate takes Devin on a totally random trip to visit her Great Aunt Eby, who owns a run down camp in Florida. Upon arrival, they discover that Eby is about to sell the camp, and this is the one last fling for her regular three campers and Eby's friend Lisette. Allowing themselves to be taken in by the atmosphere and sense of belonging, Kate and Devin come to realize that they cannot allow the direction they've been taking in life, especially once Kate is reunited with childhood love Wes. Add in a magical alligator and an attempt to overcome a childhood tragedy, and you have the gist of a story that is so much more than that.
Lost Lake is filled with little gems of wisdom and the sense of finding yourself, no matter your age or circumstances. There is a backstory to Eby that's fascinating (even if I didn't especially care for Lisette's dependence upon her friend). I adore the magical elements, which are just enough that you can believe that they might actually be true. The stories of Selma and Bulahdeen, two of the regular campers, add to the tale in that it's clear that no matter what your age, it's not too late to find friends and be useful. But this is mostly Kate's tale of coming back to life, and it's here that the story really shines. Devin is a delight and Kate finding her backbone is the best part.
I'm convinced that Sarah Addison Allen could write the phone book and I'd find it fascinating. This story is a wonderful tale of hope and love and I highly recommend it.