Last week I finished a book called Lake People by Abi Maxwell. It was recommended to me by a friend in the spring but I completely forgot about it. And there I was on Tuesday, wandering around the public library, when I practically ran straight into it. Well, not really, but it was right on display on one of the shelves and I gasped, “oh yeah!” I grabbed it without thinking twice and started it that very night.
This is a quick read – just about 200 pages. It’s set in my home state of New Hampshire, so that always brings a special feeling to me. The writer lives in New Hampshire and works at a public library – how cute is that? This is the story of a Swedish family that inhabits Bear Island, an isolated chunk of land in the middle of a huge lake. Of course, during the winters, it’s a desolate and desperate place. This family has a strange pull to that lake and for many of them, that pull spelled their deaths. The main storyline is around Alice, a young woman who is a part of the bloodline of the people of Bear Island, but she has no idea because she was adopted as an infant. And no matter where she goes in New Hampshire, it seems like everyone around her knows more about her story than she does.
This novel was written in a sort of dreamy way. I could feel myself being transported to the towns described. I could feel the missing pieces that Alice always seemed to have by not knowing her true heritage. It was very enjoyable and Maxwell’s first published novel. I look forward to more of her work.
Even so, at times I found it a little difficult to follow the story. It didn’t always seem to flow for me and the writing left me rereading certain passages several times to understand what had just happened. And I can’t tell if that’s because it needed more editing or if it was a purposeful use of confusion. But this was still an enjoyable read for me!