A journey to The Lake of Dreams
March 21, 2011 Leave a comment
My journey began on February 7 when Kim Edwards, author of “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter“, came to Chapters-Indigo at the Manulife Centre in Toronto to discuss her latest book, “The Lake of Dreams” with the Globe & Mail’s Sarah Hampson. Since her first book was such a memorable read, I couldn’t pass up the chance to attend. Looking back at notes I took from that night, the discussion was focused a lot on Edwards’ usage of time in the two novels. Here are a few of the points where the two parallel:
- Edwards spoke of the main characters being drawn to the past. Nora from Memory Keeper clung to the daughter she believed died at birth, and often wondered what would have been, always feeling that longing; Lucy clings to the past through notes she finds, and hopes to find a history of her family that gives women a voice.
- The era’s the characters were in came with a lot of social change. Nora’s story began in the 60s where women were fighting for social changes and Lucy was looking back on a time where Rose, her long-lost ancestor was a suffragette working to get women the vote.
- There is also a large time span seen in both novels. In Memory Keeper it begins in the 60s but eventually ends in the latter part of the 20th century and spans many changing values in society. The same can be said for Lake of Dreams which spans nearly an entire century from the early 1910s until present time.
“The Lake of Dreams” was another example of Edwards’ excellent writing skill, and while the story itself wasn’t the most exciting for me, this made up for it, when I could have easily gotten quite bored.
The story is mostly set in modern day upstate New York where the protagonist, Lucy, finds herself feeling lost at sea, having never gotten over the death of her father years prior, and more recently having trouble adjusting to her new life with her boyfriend Yoshi in Japan. While visiting her mother in the small town she grew up in, Lucy finds a link to a bit of family history that was long-forgotten. Looking for meaning in her life, this was a chance for Lucy to connect with her past in a way that pretty much pre-occupied most of her time.
I enjoyed reading about Lucy’s (and Rose’s) journey, and her finding some meaning in her life, along with closure to drama that had been bubbling for years, but to me it isn’t a memorable novel that I look forward to reading multiple times, like “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”. That being said, I can’t wait for Kim Edwards’ next novel because of her writing style and great characters. I give “The Lake of Dreams” a 3/5