Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Black Lake-Johanna Lane

Black Lake-Johanna Lane

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 224
gender: female
nationality: UK
year: 2014
novel

The story of an Irish family forced to take drastic steps so as to not lose the family estate/legacy.


A beautifully contemplative novel about what slips between the cracks of a family when exposed to the slow stress of loss. The pacing is slow and thus it becomes atmospheric-like my memories of my own trip to Co. Donegal. The tragedy has occurred in the beginning of the book so this is more of an exploration of the various stories and responses of the family members. There are rich flashbacks explaining how the family got to this point but it’s not really tell-not-show prose, rather it’s more like the reader gains a 360 degree perspective on the various ways the estate has affected the family’s lives. And it’s infinitely interesting since the various points of view vary drastically in terms of responses and unhappiness. Their surroundings influence every thing as well-the gardens, the weather, the ocean, etc. This is a bit of a sad novel but Lane’s prose style carries you on because she packs such layers of meaning on every page. The current family’s stories are interwoven with the stories of the previous owners of the estate which makes for interesting reading for the sort of person who likes visiting historical houses but has always found the presented history a bit sterile. This is actually the type of book I’d reread.

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