Sunday, August 30, 2020

{Book Review} Lake People by Abi Maxwell


This was another Dollar General purchase. The cover is simple so that's not what drew me to this book. I kind of picked it up on a whim and decided to read its summary to see if I'd be interested in it. The summary, posted below, sounded intriguing and I genuinely anticipated a wonderful saga-esque story about Alice and where she came from.

From Goodreads:

"A haunting, luminous debut novel set in a small New Hampshire town: the story of the crisscrossing of lives, within and without family, and of one woman, given up for adoption as a baby, searching for the truth about her life.

As an infant, Alice Thorton was discovered in Kettleborough, New Hampshire, in a boathouse by the lake; adopted by a young, childless couple; raised with no knowledge of the women who came before her: Eleonora, who brought her family to Bear Island, the nearly uninhabitable scrap of land in Kettleborough’s lake; Signe, the maiden aunt who nearly drowned in the lake, ashamed of her heart; Sophie, the grandmother who turned a blind eye to her unwanted granddaughter. Alice grows up aching for an acceptance she can’t quite imagine, trying to find it first with an older man, then with one who can’t love her back, and finally in the love she feels for one she has never met. And all the while she feels a mysterious pull to the lake. As Alice edges ever closer to her past,Lake Peoplebeautifully evokes the interweaving of family history and individual fate, and the intangible connections we feel to the place where we were born."

I'm sorry to say, this book was a disappointment. It wasn't necessarily the story itself but the way it was written. I know each author has their own unique writing style and that's a great thing. You don't want to read different authors and have them all read the same - that'd be boring. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of Abi Maxwell's writing style.

All of the characters were ... destitute. That's the best word I can think of and I don't mean it financially. They were emotionally destitute. It's like all of them were mad, or depressed, or abusive, or willing to be somebody's emotional whipping post. There was very little hope or joy in this book. I do expect a certain level of problems or despair in a novel, especially when a character is trying to find herself and where she's from, but this was excessive.

While reading Lake People, there's one thought that kept running through my mind: "This is the weirdest book I've ever read." I'm sorry, Ms. Maxwell, but I'm giving your book 2 stars and that's only because, at the very end of the book, Alice found a bit of the happiness she was searching for. Thank goodness I only paid $1 for this book.

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