The Lake house contains all the ingredients I have come to expect in a novel by Kate Morton: mystery, action in different eras, a beautiful house in Cornwall and more than one complex female protagonist.
The core story is of the Edevane family who lived in Leoanneth, a large house by a lake in Cornwall, from 1911 until 1933. An idyllic love story is blighted by the First World War and as their family life appears to be blossoming again, tragedy strikes.
Moving to 2003, we meet Sadie Sparrow, a feisty police sergeant who has let her emotions take over when investigating the case of an abandoned child. Visiting her grandfather, Bertie in Cornwall she inadvertently discovers Leoanneth, overgrown and deserted. Soon she is putting her experience to good use trying to discover what happened on that fateful Midsummer Eve in 1933. As she researches old newspapers and case notes, we encounter Alice Edevane, who was 16 in 1933 and is now a very successful crime write of 86. Will she help Sadie or will she keep her secrets?
The intricate plot weaves threads together in a most satisfying way. The book has a glorious sense of time, of the echoes glimpsed momentarily. Sadie, Alice and Alice’s mother Eleanor gradually reveal themselves as the book progresses. They all share sadness and loss which they hide behind strong personas.
Some readers may feel that all the puzzles are solved too perfectly, but I was sad to leave this long beautiful book.