Book Review: The Lake of Dreams

I’ve never been part of a book club – the idea of having to read something on a schedule always seemed like too much pressure. And what if I didn’t like the book but felt obligated to finish it? What if I didn’t have anything intelligent to say? All those worries seem to go away when you’re a mom with a job and little time to read. Sometimes being “forced” to read something other than Curious George’s latest escapade is actually a good thing.

I joined the BlogHer Book Club with this in mind, and it’s been great. I’ve liked the books we’ve read so far, and the latest is no different.

Lake of Dreams coverThe Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards (author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter) is great for escapism. It took a while for me to get into it, and I found the early parts of the mystery that’s central to the story a bit cryptic. A few too many references to history and characters meant to sound intriguing but who, at that point, I felt no connection to. But with the journey of Lucy, the main character, and the meaning-of-life element, I knew it was going somewhere good.

The Lake of Dreams is Lucy’s hometown, where she returns after her mother has an accident. She’s looking for meaning in her own life—having flown home from Japan, where she lives with her boyfriend Yoshi without a job to keep her fulfilled—and immediately dives into her family’s history. Everything from her father’s relationship with his brother to his untimely death swirls around Lucy, causing angst and setting a questioning tone. But when she finds old papers, including letters written by a mystery woman, things start to get interesting.

I didn’t entirely buy the premise—that a whole family history, including secrets formerly unknown, could be unravelled by a seemingly coincidental discovery of hidden papers—but if you apply the suspend-disbelief philosophy it’s an intriguing read. It’s not a terribly intellectual one (though sometimes that’s just what a tired mom needs) but one of the aspects of the BlogHer Book Club I like most is the chance to pretend I’m in high school English again and pick apart a book at a level deeper than what my brain can process in the few minutes before I fall asleep at night. Come and join in – the first question (Do you act from love or from anger?) has me hooked already.


This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.



  1. The plot of the book sounds like a good one that got a little heavy.

  2. I’m in. I don’t need every story to be completely believable, or even to be a pullizter winner. Sometimes a good yarn is all I need.

  3. I need to start reading something other than status messages on Facebook and comments on Flickr. Every time I sit down to read one of my cats decides he wants attention and there goes my reading time. Definitely hoping to change that in 2012.

    Thanks for sharing this review. Sounds like an interesting read, even if some elements are far-fetched.