Author: Karen Katchur
Publisher by: St. Martin's Press, Thomas Dunne Books
Published on: August 4, 2015
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where she spent summers growing up, but cannot bear to stay herself; everything about the lake reminds her of the guilt she feels. For her daughter Caroline, however, the lake is a precious world apart; its familiarity and sameness comforts her every year despite the changes in her life outside its bounds. At twelve years old and caught between childhood and adolescence, she longs to win her mother’s love and doesn’t understand why Jo keeps running away.
Then seven-year-old Sara Starr goes missing from the community beach. Rescue workers fail to uncover any sign of her—but instead dredge up the bones Jo hoped would never be discovered, shattering the quiet lakeside community’s tranquility. Caroline was one of the last people to see Sara alive on the beach, and feels responsible for her disappearance. She takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the little girl. As Caroline searches for Sara, she uncovers the secrets her mother has been hiding, unraveling the very foundation of everything she knows about herself and her family in this riveting novel that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.
The Secrets Of Lake Road was a wonderful change of pace from my usual read. It was a story shrouded in mystery and secrets, secrets that not only effected one family but the lake town they lived in.
“No one touched the bottom of the lake and lived. If you were lucky, you’d surface wide-eyed and frantic, babbling at the darkness, the thickness of what lay below. If you were unlucky, underwater recovery dragged the lake for your body.”
The very first line of the book easily begged for my attention. The story centered around twelve year old Caroline and her family. Every year she, her mom Jo, her older brother Johnny, would travel to her grandmother’s house in the lake town in the Poconos. It’s always supposed to be a family vacation, but Caroline’s mother always manages to leave.
“The way her mother looked, her expression, reminded Caroline of the lake. There was a place inside of her mother as vast and as murky.”
Caroline and her mother don’t have much of a relationship. She wants and needs her mother love and companionship but there is something that holds Jo back. Caroline knows there is something that haunts her mother, something that makes her mother retreat into herself, and she’s determined to find it what it is.
Sixteen years ago, Jo had one summer that changed her life forever. Jo and her boyfriend Billy were inseparable. They had been madly in love but that summer things between them had begun to change. When Billy, drowned in the lake it destroyed everything. Since then Jo had been haunted by guilt of what happened that night and the secrets that she’s kept.
“There was something about this place that brought out the best and worst in you, pushing you to extremes.”
When seven year old Sara goes missing in the lake, it brings back the haunting memories of what happened sixteen years before. When the town begins to search for Sara, it leads them to discover evidence that may linked to Billy’s drowning. This new evidence begins to bring out every suspicion, every lie that was told, and every secret that was kept.
I loved the slow build of this book. There was something so haunting and captivating with how the story unfolded. You saw into the minds of Caroline, Jo, as well as Billy’s sister and his best friend. I connected with each character but for vastly different reasons. Each person added to or unfolded a different dynamic to the story and it held my attention. Caroline’s youth and determination played such a pivotal role finding out the truth.
Ultimately this story was about the secrets of the lake but it was also about love and family. Nothing was truly how it seemed and I enjoyed watching it unfold. The author’s strong writing and vivid imagery helped piece together a truly captivating tale.
To read an excerpt for The Secrets Of Lake Road: Excerpt