I really enjoyed this carefully crafted, lyrically written story. There were so many different facets to the story that it will appeal to a wide range of readers. There's a little bit of romance when Lucy comes face-to-face with her childhood sweetheart, Keegan. There's family drama. There's the mystery surrounding a female relative that has remained conspicuously absent from Lucy's family history, and there's beautiful art. Kim Edwards manages to balance all of these different aspects of the story without overwhelming the reader.
The story itself is fast-paced and interesting, yet detailed enough that we become attached to Lucy and her family and all of the other minor characters that come into play. I especially appreciated Yoshi, Lucy's boyfriend, who manages to stay in the background throughout the story yet remains a calm and rational presence.
There's a quote that I found particularly lovely (I'm unable to give a page number because my copy is an ARC, but I couldn't help but share):
Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too.My only complaint about this book, and it's a small one, is that I found that the ending dragged a little bit. I have absolutely no problem with how Kim Edwards chose to end The Lake of Dreams, and in fact I loved the ending, but it was about ten pages too long for me. I could have gone for a shorter wrap-up.
The Lake of Dreams was a beautiful, interesting book and I predict that it will be on many "Best of 2011" lists.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Challenges: 2011 100+ Reading Challenge