Daughters of the Lake

Daughters of the LakeDaughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb
on January 1st 1970
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four-stars

Kate Granger returns to her parent’s home on Lake Superior upon learning that her husband was having an affair. She hopes to use the time there to think about her life and start over. Unfortunately, one morning along with her father and her father’s friend, Johnny, she came across the body of a young woman on the shores of the lake. What is most shocking to Kate, is that she recognizes the woman from dreams she has been having. Not only does she recognize the woman, she someone knows that there is a baby tucked in the folds of her nightgown. Kate’s reaction to seeing the woman’s body and finding the baby, make her a possible suspect in the death of the woman. Side note – I didn’t see what was so suspicious about her reaction to seeing the dead woman and baby. I think if I found two dead bodies, I would have a strong reaction as well. Just saying…..

Even though the police are suspicious of her, Kate is still able to travel to Wharton to visit her cousin, Simon and the bed and breakfast he runs out of the former home of their great-grandfather, Harrison Connor. Things get even stranger while she stays in her family’s home and as she attempts to put the pieces together, it appears that ghosts of the past are all around her. What secrets might the lake have?

This book is told through the past and the present though alternating chapters. I enjoyed both equally. In the past we meet Addie and Jess. Addie was literally born in the lake and Jess was the one who found her floating in the water. They had a close bond from that time on and no one was shocked when they married years later.

Wendy Webb sets her books about lakes and uses a supernatural element in them. She writes books with plots that are tied to the past, with old mansions, strong female characters, age old secrets, and yes, ghosts. Her books are described as Northern Gothic and do have an eerie and atmospheric feel to them. She also threw in a tragic love story and mysterious lake creature/entity into the mix her as well. This book had a little bit of everything, but it is not scary or creepy (at least in my opinion). It has more of an eerie feel to it, even with the supernatural elements, it won’t scare of have readers sleeping with the lights on. Plus, even with death in the book, there is nothing graphic or gory. There is mystery and the story really revolves around the past and present story-line’s and Kate’s attempt to make sense of her dreams and experiences.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was invested in learning if Kate would learn the woman’s identity. What brought the woman to the lake? Why was she murdered? How does the lake tie in? What is going on in the bed and breakfast? Will the case ever be solved? Why was a missing person’s report not filed?

I think this book is perfect for those who enjoy lighter (not scary) Gothic ghost stories involving some mystery, glimpses into the past, romance and intrigue. If you have not read Wendy Webb before, this book is a great non-scary introduction to her work!

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

four-stars

The Vanishing

The VanishingThe Vanishing by Wendy Webb
Published by Hyperion on January 21st 2014
Pages: 291
ISBN: 1401341942
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three-stars

Julia Graham is recently widowed and looking to start her life over. When she is approached by a stranger with an opportunity to act as a caretaker for his Mother, Amaris Sinclair. Julia is intrigued by the offer. His Mother, Amaris is a famous author who the world believes died ten years ago. She is alive and well and living in a beautiful estate.

When Julia arrives at the estate which has a lot of history, she hears children singing but there are no children in sight. She also quickly observes that Amaris Sinclair does not really need a caretaker. Why has she been invited to come work at Havenwood and what is really going on at the estate?

I think this book had the potential to be a really good haunted house book but somewhere along the way it just lost it’s momentum for me. The book is touted as being a Gothic ghost/haunting story. In this we have a Victorian estate in the middle of nowhere with a long family history. But in all honesty, those were the Gothic factors. When I think Gothic, I think of Daphne Du Mauier’s books “Rebecca” or “My Cousin Rachel” For me, this book has Gothic elements but didn’t feel Gothic. Just my opinion. This book also failed to be creepy. It didn’t really shock or scare me. There were some twists and revelations that moved the story along but nothing that really said “WOW” to me. Initially this book sucked me in but as I said it lost me a little along the way.

This book is a fast read so perfect when you have some down time or a plane trip. There is nothing really complex going on with the plot.

Not sure about the ending and by that I mean the epilogue. On one level I really like epilogues on another level, I wonder what they can add to the story. With this book I really don’t know what to think.

three-stars