Monday, March 13, 2017

Gothic Mystery Eerie, Compelling

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Nestled in the Adirondacks, The Heart Lake School for Girls holds little but bad memories for Jane Hudson.  Once a scholarship student at the boarding school, she fled the institution after a spate of suicides that resulted in the deaths of her three best friends.  Two decades later, she's a single mother looking for a new start.  As Heart Lake's new Latin instructor, she'll live on site while teaching.  As apprehensive as she feels being back, she's hoping for the best.

It doesn't take long, though, for sinister reminders of Jane's tragic Heart Lake past to surface.  Someone seems to know exactly what happened when she was a student.  But who?  Everyone concerned is dead.  Has one of Jane's new students somehow gotten hold of the journal she kept back then?  Are the girls playing a cruel trick on their new teacher?  Or is something more ... otherworldly going on?  When a new rash of suicides starts plaguing the school, Jane is terrified that the past is coming back in the most awful way possible.  Can she figure out what's going on before more people die?  Heart Lake has already taken so much from Jane.  Will it finally strip her of everything that's important to her?

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman is an atmospheric mystery with eerie Gothic undertones.  Its premise intrigued me, as did its back-and-forth-in-time storytelling.  Although the plot kept me engaged, I saw most of its twists and turns coming, which made Jane seem very slow on the uptake.  Still, I raced through this dark, compelling novel, eager to see what was going to happen.  In the end, I didn't love The Lake of Dead Languages, but I did enjoy it overall.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of other books by Carol Goodman, including River Road, Arcadia Falls, and The Ghost Orchid)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a half dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

2 comments:

  1. I'm planning on reading this one before long. I'm pretty sure I have a copy on one of my shelves. I'm not sure what it is about books set at schools, but they are like catnip to me. And you definitely ought to read THE WIDOW'S HOUSE. Goodman seems to take her time telling her stories and I think that I notice that more because so many I read these days are 'go, go, go' all the time. I will say that as I enter the books in my notebooks on Goodreads, I'm beginning to see trends in my reading over the years. It's been interesting to notice how my tastes have changed.

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  2. Its a shame it's predictable but that would be ok if it didn't make the MC look slow. Still sounds like a fun read.

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