Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 512 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction


From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping 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.

What Did I Think About the Story?

I have to confess right off the bat that I snatched this book up without a second thought when the lovely Amy at HF Virtual Book Tours sent the notice about the tour. After reading Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper she joined that small list of authors who get an insta-read from me as soon as they have a new book come out (which, in Kate Morton's case, is far to seldom, but that is just me being impatient). Now, this sort of fan-girl response means I do expect a lot out of her novels as they have to live up to my high expectations of what she offers. So with this high standard in place, was I disappointed with The Lake House? Not at all, the writing is stellar! Does the book join the ranks of my all time favorite books  (where both The Forgotten Garden and The Secret Keeper hold places)? No, unfortunately I can't say that it does, although it does get darn close. With her impeccable ability to weave various story lines, time periods and complicated characters together, there were a few things that held the book out of the top of the ranks for me.

The Lake House is a chunkster of a novel (weighing in at almost 600 pages) and, while all her novels are longer with tightly knotted storylines going on, The Lake House at times felt longer than it needed to while all her other novels seemed to flow very quickly for me. I admit I'm not the fastest reader around, but I assumed I would be so wrapped up in the story that I would finish it in about a week, no problem. It ended up taking me over two weeks to finish it and while I can say I really enjoyed most of that time spent, I never became so wrapped up in what the characters were experiencing that I couldn't put it down. I spent a vast amount of time slowly reading through the descriptions of the lake house, the Cornwall countryside, beautiful and busy London, etc. because the writing is stunningly beautiful, but then was able to put it aside and pick it up again whenever I had time. The various mysteries surrounding the characters just didn't keep me so enraptured that I was glued to the pages.    

That being said, the author did a great job, as usual, of presenting a variety of conflict and mystery for the reader to try and solve, with enough twists and turns that there were still some surprises by the ending. Some of the more secondary mysteries (the secret Sadie Sparrow was keeping about her past for one) were somewhat easy to figure out early on, but all in all Kate Morton's signature style of slowly dropping information, little by little, into the narrative and the character's dialogue kept the facts well hidden until we the reader are meant to learn the full truth of what happened to these characters and why. Having Sadie Sparrow be a detective and Alice Edevane a writer of mysteries was a brilliant move as well as this allowed the reader to follow along as Sadie tried to solve the case of the missing Theo Edevane and Alice try, at first at least, to somewhat muddle the facts and divert Sadie's attention so she wouldn't.

I don't think anyone who picks up a Kate Morton novel could possibly be disappointed in the story they read. Her attention to detail, deliciously descriptive and flourishing writing style and ability to weave together the past and present in remarkable ways is unparalleled in my opinion. She has this ability to transport the reader to the nearly magical worlds the characters inhabit but, at the same time, develop the characters and show how this magical world changes over time given the maturity and wisdom that comes with age and knowledge. If you start your Kate Morton journey with The Lake House be prepared for even more enjoyment when you pick up her other books. Even with this not being my favorite of her novels, I am still a fan girl of hers for life!

What Did I Think About the Cover?

I think it's very pretty, but actually isn't my favorite Kate Morton cover. Most of the covers for her US books prominently show a stately house or cottage, gorgeous gardens and some sort of scrolling adornment along the border. These are my all time favorite kinds of covers and I've adored each one I've collected. Having the woman's face and the water on The Lake House cover obscure so much of the house and no real adornment around the border was a little bit of a disappointment to me. I'll be on the look out for the paperwork release and pick it up if it has a cover that better matches her typical covers.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of The Lake House in exchange for an honest review. Be sure to continue below for more information about the author, the book, the rest of the blog tour!

About the Author

Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in
nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary Gothic novels.

Kate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. Her novels include The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at or

Buy the Book


Meet Kate Morton on Tour!


The Lake House Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, October 5

Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, October 6

Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 15

Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, October 19

Review at The Baking Bookworm

Tuesday, October 20

Review at Unshelfish
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, October 21

Review at Book Drunkard
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, October 26

Review at Beth’s Book Nook

Tuesday, October 27

Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 28

Review at The Maiden’s Court

Thursday, October 29

Review at Book Nerd

Friday, October 30

Review at A Chick Who Reads

Sunday, November 1

Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, November 2

Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, November 3

Review at Bookish
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 4

Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Words and Peace

Thursday, November 5

Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Friday, November 6

Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at Curling Up By the Fire



  1. I'm so looking forward to this novel, and your review did nothing but whet my appetite. I haven't actually read anything by Kate Morton, yet! Sounds like she has the potential to become a favorite.

    1. So happy I've whetted your appetite for Kate Morton! The book that got me hooked was The Forgotten Garden but really all of her books are wonderful. I hope you read her and love her as much as I do! Thank you so much for stopping by!