Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: Black Lake by Johanna Lane

Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 20th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 0316228834 (ISBN13: 9780316228831)                
edition language: English

Black Lake tells the story of John and Marianne Campbell along with their two children Philip and Kate.

It was most interesting to see how each family member reacted to and thought about the financial necessity of moving out of Dulough, the manor house, into the damp and cramped caretaker's cottage. When financial and social status changed for the worse, the results dramatically altered the family dynamics with some tragic repercussions.

Told from different view points of each character, but mostly John's and Philip's, the reader is privy to family secrets, hopes, dreams, expectations and disappointments. Each character looks back over the events that led them to the present day. Through inner dialogue and hindsight, Lane brings her characters vividly to life. Very quickly they became real people to me. Even after closing the last page, the characters resonated with me for quite a while.

The house has such a presence, it is in itself like another character.

"It is not difficult to think of the house as a consciousness, a repository of events, its breath whistling through the walls, our lives playing over and over again in its memory."

Such beautiful writing!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters and the lovely, descriptive writing. The sense of place was so well done, I could feel the atmosphere of the  isolated, windy rain swept Irish coast. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and stories of family. 4.5****

Johanna Lane, a Goodreads author, grew up in Ireland and now lives in New York City.

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Little, Brown and Company in exchange for my honest opinion.


  1. This book is up next for me... a quick preview makes me think I'm going to love the writing!

    1. JoAnn, I'm sure you will love it. Happy reading!

  2. Sounds really intriguing. Like that the house has a presence

  3. Had not heard of this one, glad you enjoyed it!

  4. This sounds good Kaye. I need to add it to my TBR list.


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