Monday, February 16, 2009


This winter is my Carol Goodman season, where I'm going to devour everything she's ever written. Yay for favorite new authors. Up next is the one that made her name: The Lake of Dead Languages.

The reviews for this book are accurate: it is fast-paced, with creepy atmosphere and secret after secret being revealed. Honestly, I was a bit surprised because I was able to pretty much figure everything out before Jane, the main character, did. Perhaps Goodman wanted us to know before Jane did? Because I'm honestly not that clever at mysteries.

Here's the summary, from Goodman's website: "Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. The week before her graduation, in that sheltered wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden in the depths of Heart Lake for more than two decades. Now Jane has returned to the school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories. And young, troubled girls are beginning to die again--as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface..."

Seriously, the atmosphere just drips in the this story. I had the shivers by page 10 or so, when Jane starts discovering literal pieces of her past showing up, haunting and taunting her. While I think Goodman's writing has improved and I still like The Night Villa the best, The Lake is definitely a good read.

In good English major fashion, I've noticed a few trends in Goodman's writing. These includes: water as a major player, myths/fairy tales, a slightly older woman (think early 30s or so) and a younger woman who generally turns out to be trouble. And yet she manages to create a completely different story each time with these favorite themes. I'm intrigued to see if her other three books do, too.

Rating: 9/10

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