This is another book loaned me by the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and I was really looking forward to reading it, as I loved “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter” by the same author, Kim Edwards. “The
Lake of Dreams” doesn’t mesmerise the reader in quite the same way but nevertheless it is an engrossing tale of protagonist Lucy’s journey of discovery, returning to her childhood home and piecing together her family history.
Some of the discoveries are encountered through letters from someone called Rose to her daughter Iris. Using letters in this way helped the author to draw a picture of past times
to help Lucy on her quest - but I found them rather forced, I couldn’t imagine many people writing such letters. The author possibly considered and rejected the alternative of including chapters telling Rose’s story in her own words but I think
I would have found it more realistic.
Embarking on her quest and seeking to lay the ghosts of her father’s death, Lucy left behind her partner, the ever-obliging
Yoshi, and encountered a former love in the person of Keegan, an artist in glass. Keegan, along with Lucy’s mother, was one of the more sympathetic characters in the book; for some reason, I found Lucy much harder to like.
There were so many strands to this story - the mystery of the origin of a set of stained glass windows, the women’s suffrage movement, family battles over land and property - that the reader
could be forgiven for struggling to understand which was the “golden thread” of the story.
I read this book to the end - because I did want to discover
what happened to Rose and her daughter - but all in all it was a bit of a disappointment.