Okay, I'm gonna get real with you about The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards: between the title (it is hokey, is it not?) and the fact there was a prologue giving a page-and-half snippet of something that happened one hundred years ago (my LEAST favorite device -- JUST START THE STORY ALREADY! These three paragraphs don't intrigue me; they annoy me), I wasn't sure I was going to make it through this book.
However, I found myself pleasantly surprised after ten pages of set-up about the main character feeling lonely, sad, and disconnected (at one point her boyfriend even says "you seem sad and lonely." Guh.), which also weren't my favorite pages of the book, the story actually took off, and I finished the rest of the almost-400-page book in three sittings. This is quite an accomplishment for me these days.
Lucy Jarrett has been traveling the world and avoiding her past, so when she goes home and uncovers secrets from the past, she isn't sure what they have in store for her, and the readers don't know what they have in store for themselves either. This book has a nice mix of self-discovery, sleuthing, and reflecting on themes of acceptance and feminism. While at times the push to see the significance of the suffragettes is forced ("I could only imagine how difficult it must have been!"), the rest of the book makes up for it.
Aside from a few moments here and there, the language is lovely, the characters are interesting, the plot moves along nicely, and the ending is satisfying. All in all, a book I would recommend.
I was compensated for this review, but the opinions are my own. Because, you know ... I'm mean and I would tell you if I hated the book.