The Lake House by Kate Morton

KK Conley Review

KM Lake House

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I like complex stories with a lot of twists, and Kate Morton has done a beautiful job with this in The Lake House. I also have a weakness for missing children stories, and this one centers on the unsolved mystery of an eleven-month-old boy who disappeared without a trace in 1933. The case remains unsolved until detective Sadie Sparrow, on involuntary leave, visits her grandfather in Cornwall and becomes obsessed with the crumbling mansion and the family who abandoned it after the little boy disappeared. Morton moves back and forth between 1933 and 2003 with an occasional jaunt into 1911, and tells the story from five different viewpoints without ever losing the reader. That’s an amazing feat to me. The pacing is good and the ending satisfies. This was an enjoyable read and I recommend it.

Booklist Online Review

In the latest from Morton, secrets from the past come to light in the present, a theme that is the author’s specialty. Alice Edevane is a teenage novelist in love in 1930s Cornwall. Loeanneth (literally, the lake house) is a place made for storytelling, with magical woods and fairy fields, all totally lost on her stern mother, Eleanor. Seventy years later, Sadie Sparrow is visiting her grandfather after getting too close to a case, a no-no for a London detective. Sadie stumbles upon Loeanneth, frozen in time, and throws herself into the mystery of the abandoned house, using her considerable professional skills and a helpful librarian. She tries to involve a native mystery novelist, A. E. Edevane, who has not been back to Cornwall in years. Missing babies, maternal sacrifice, and secrets, secrets, secrets—Morton offers generous clues, only to peel back deeper layers just when the truth seems close. There is a procedural element to the story for traditional mystery readers, and it is not short on heart-wrenching choices and rich characters. The ending is a bit neat, but after all Morton puts the characters through, they’ve earned it.

— Susan Maguire

©Booklist Online

Amazon Description and Rating

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heartstopping suspense and uncovered secrets.

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.

4.5 stars, 500+ reviews

Goodreads Rating

4.05 stars, 13,000+ ratings

Author’s Description

A missing child…

June 1933, and the Edevane family’s country house, Loeanneth, is polished and gleaming, ready for the much-anticipated Midsummer Eve party. Alice Edevane, sixteen years old and a budding writer, is especially excited. Not only has she worked out the perfect twist for her novel, she’s also fallen helplessly in love with someone she shouldn’t. But by the time midnight strikes and fireworks light up the night skies, the Edevane family will have suffered a loss so great that they leave Loeanneth forever.

An abandoned house…

Seventy years later, after a particularly troubling case Sadie Sparrow is sent on an enforced break from her job with the Metropolitan Police. Sadie retreats to her beloved grandfather’s cottage in Cornwall but soon finds herself at a loose end. Until one day, she stumbles upon an abandoned house surrounded by overgrown gardens and dense woods, and learns the story of a baby boy who disappeared without a trace.

 An unsolved mystery…

Meanwhile, in the attic writing room of her elegant Hampstead home, the formidable Alice Edevane, now an old lady, leads a life as neatly plotted as the bestselling detective novels she writes. Until a young police detective starts asking questions about her family’s past, seeking to resurrect the complex tangle of secrets Alice has spent her life trying to escape…

Youtube Video

Kate Morton interviewed and scenes from the book setting. (Warning: 13+ minutes.)

Cornish Adventure VLOG with Kate Morton