Lots of stories, sadness and mystery surround a family and a found baby. There are some strong female characters - Eleonora, Signe and young Sophie - and a sweet boy, Malcolm, but they just were sort of dropped at a point and the second half of the short novel deteriorated. I think I need to read tis book again to fully grasp the weight of it bec Complicated yet interesting! Many of them are Alice's ancestors. Throughout her life, however, she never loses her sense of loss, and searching; she unwisely chooses one inappropriate lover after another, never quite finding what she hopes to. Yet, most of them are sad, far away, and utterly perplexed by life. I was a little disappointed in the fact that every one in town seemed to know Alice's story, save for her. For one thing, Alice at that point in the story doesn't know she is a Wickholm--in fact, she's been raised by an alcoholic single step-father--so why is she so judgmental of Martha? Maxwell's writing has a whispery, brooding, atmospheric feel that conveys Alice's fragility while capturing both the lushness of the region and its claustrophobic effect on Alice.
The only reason I read it is because we are reading together in a bookstore next month. The imagery and the characters are just filled in enough to allow the reader to gladly do some of the work. I did enjoy it, but felt it could have been so much better. In my imagination, New Hampshire and Connecticut are one and the same, and so are Boston, D. I found that a little too much of a stretch, but otherwise the story really has potential and I am looking forward to hearing this author speak at the book store that hosts my book club later this month.
The proud read: rich Wickholms live a big house with a water view. In Lake People, secrets are kept, secrets are told: Abi Maxwell. Add to that beautiful writing, intriguing characters, and mysteries that you want resolved, and you have one of my favorite books ever. She needed to show a clearer connection between the characters. Perhaps I was distracted when I read this book, but I found it confusing. Maxwell writes a stu My husband and I lived for three glorious years in New Hampshire.
Lake People is an evocative novel that creates a melancholic mood from the first page and sustains it throughout without succumbing to despair. Perhaps I was distracted when I read this book, but I found it confusing. While finding herself, Alice finds peace and love and the desire to live. Alice, the secret is you! I just didn't love it. Countless other tragedies befall the other characters in the book. Author doesn't use enough descriptive words, so the reader doesn't get a very clear picture of the setting.
It's certainly a rich enough place to locate a setting-driven novel. Redolent of the secrets that haunt small-town life…. In my mind it rambled, the lake part was weird and I didn't connect with any character. By the time it tried to tie it together, I'd forgotten who the afore mentioned characters were. The only reason I didn't give this one five stars was that at the end I felt like she had stopped too soon.
The Alice-Simon dynamic was too convenient and fanciful for my tastes. Characters are forced into inhuman postures in the name of serious subjects. Some parts left me feeling confused, and yet others seemed to have great, even if painful, insight into human behavior. She was raised with no knowledge of where she came from or the women in her family who came before her and they were an interesting group. Parts engaged me deeply, other bits and I floated off. I could feel the missing pieces that Alice always seemed to have by not knowing her true heritage. The lake is the main character though, and her influence permeates the entire novel and seeps into every character's story.
It's also inventive, wonderfully strange, hard-headed, and genuinely enchanting. There are some strong female characters - Eleonora, Signe and young Sophie - and a sweet boy, Malcolm, but they just were sort of dropped at a point and the second half of the short novel deter Odd little book. The novel tells the bittersweet tale of Alice Thorton. A few years ago I rode my bicycle from Bar Harbor, Maine down part of the East Coast. This was a strange book through and through. What I did not love.
Her primary strategy is to employ a style of thought and discourse that turns experiences into myths and locales into symbols Lake Country, Hill Country, The Village. And no matter where she goes in New Hampshire, it seems like everyone around her knows more about her story than she does. She is the daughter of Jennifer Hill and Karl Wickholm, two Kettleborough teenagers. I wasn't sure at first about Abi Maxwell's choice to weave in and out of completely different points of view throughout the story. The opening chapters, with Sophie and her husband, I didn't understand the tension between them and that seemed to set up everything that followed so I felt I was behind from the start. But I came to accept that this is how legends are passed down, and so this was a fitting way to have the story told to me.
As an infant, Alice Thornton was discovered in Kettleborough, New Hampshire, in a boathouse by the lake; adopted by a young, childless couple; raised with no knowledge of the women who came before her: Eleonora, who brought her family to Bear Island, the nearly uninhabitable scrap of land in Kettleborough's lake; Signe, the maiden aunt who nearly drowned in the lake, ashamed of her heart; Sophie, the grandmother who turned a blind eye to her unwanted granddaughter. I literally just finished it, so I may have to come back and edit this later, but I am inclined to say there were too many characters. It's also inventive, wonderfully strange, hard-headed, and genuinely enchanting. To present it that way instead of as a novel would have negated the need for a plot connecting the stories, just as it would have negated the need for common themes and chapter headings. Adopted as an infant, she grew up in Kettleborough, a small New Hampshire town where secrets are pervasive but well-kept. Just like New Hampshire is full idiosyncratic features, Lake People by Abi Maxwell is an unusual, delightful and peculiar novel.