The Lake of Dreams: On Reviews

Today I’ve been thinking about reviews, and how fascinating it  can be to read the different perspectives people bring to reading.  There are several new and very good reviews of The Lake of Dreams this weekend, but for now I want to talk about just two of them.  The first from is from The Irish Independent.  You can link here:

The other I first noted in a Waterloo, Ontario paper and is now on, by Joanne Guidoccio:–book-review-the-lake-of-dreams

Both reviewers had very nice things to say about the novel as a whole.  The Irish Independent noted that “Edwards has come back with a measured, thoughtful novel, The Lake Of Dreams, that will not disappoint fans of her previous work,” while the review on Guelphmercury says “Edwards is a natural storyteller. . .in The Lake of Dreams, she gives us a powerful family story that explores both secrets and the extraordinary ability people have to rationalize all forms of lies and deception.”

However, it gets interesting in the details.  If you’ve read The Lake of Dreams already, you know that there are two parallel story lines, one contemporary, one a story from the past that deeply impacts  the present and the story’s narrator, Lucy Jarrett.  For me, both story lines are deeply intertwined, each informing the other, both equally fascinating.  But these two readers disagree, with me and with each other.

The Independent reviewer says:  “Lucy’s journey of self-discovery is the most engaging part of the story. . .I fell in love with Lucy in a quiet way, and her struggle to face up to herself and her own happiness kept me gripped until the end.”

Guidoccio, on the other hand, feels this:  “For myself, it was more interesting to read about the forgotten ancestor Rose, a woman who modelled for an artist and wanted to be a priest, than about the 20-something Jarrett, who is ambivalent about her relationships and transcontinental career path. I looked forward to sections of the book in italicized type, indicating a letter from the past. . .”

This makes me curious–what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them.  You can add them here, or on the guest book, or write to me directly via the email address.

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