It was a pleasant coincidence.
I finished a novel I really enjoyed, The Summer We Lost Her, by Tish Cohen, which tells the story of a slowly crumbling marriage strained further by the disappearance of the couple’s young daughter. The setting plays a big role in the novel – the Adirondack Mountains lake town of Lake Placid.
By chance, the novel I picked up right afterward is set on a lake on the other side of the country. Entitled On Mystic Lake, this novel by Kristin Hannah takes place in Washington state. I’m not far along, but the lake setting once again seems to be fairly significant to the story.
I grew up often spending much of my summers at lakes, and I love the idea of a lake setting as an important element in a novel.
It got me to thinking about other lake-set novels I’ve enjoyed – like the opening scenes of Henry James’ novella, Daisy Miller, where our protagonists meet along Lake Geneva.
I enjoyed the atmospheric lakeside setting of Carol Goodman’s The Lake of Dead Languages, also set in the Adirondacks – and my favorite of her novels. Another, more famous, novel set in the Adirondacks is the classic The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper – set on the lake I visited most in my youth, Lake George. Albeit, for the record, years later…
And one of my favorite lakeside novels is the quirky Hotel du Lac by the late Anita Brookner. I love the “outcast”characters that come alive at a faded hotel along Lake Geneva.
What about you, readers? Favorite lake-set novels you would recommend? Perhaps I can stay on a roll through the end of the year. Pull up an Adirondack chair, sigh at those peaceful lake views, and happy reading!