Thursday, December 27, 2018

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb

I've read a few of Wendy Webb's novels, and they fit right into one of my favorite genres: modern gothic. Wendy writes what I like to think of as Midwestern Modern Gothic; novels set in the United States Midwest. Carol Goodman is another author who writes modern gothic. I can't go wrong with either of these authors. 

Daughters of the Lake takes place along Lake Superior, with dual timelines of the early 1900's and the twenty-teens. Great Bay is a small town on the shores of Lake Superior, and one morning a woman's body floats to shore. She's dressed in a white nightgown, and looks like she's peacefully sleeping. But she's dead, and nestled near her side is a small baby, also dead. 

Kate's father Fred discovers the body, and when Kate sees the woman, she's visibly shocked. Her reaction peaks the interest of the local authorities, who think Kate may know more about the mysterious woman than she's letting on. 

Kate herself has just come to stay with her parents after discovering her husband's been having an affair with a co-worker. She's left her job, and her husband, and is still reeling from his betrayal. And then there are the weird dreams, where she's someone else, living as a happily married woman. A woman who looks exactly like the body on the shore...

The story moves back and forth between Addie and Jess, living in the early 1900's in Great Bay, and Kate, who travels from Great Bay to Wharton, another small tourist town on Lake Superior. Her family's B&B is run by her cousin; both are descendants of the man who built the great house, Harrison Connor. Kate's grandmother, Hadley, was his only child. Kate's cousin Simon invites her to stay at the B&B for awhile to figure out what she's going to do next to start over. They're both curious to explore the third floor, which was a ballroom but is now unused and full of old boxes and family mementos. 

Addie's story is pretty interesting. Born in the lake, she has an affinity for the water, as her mother and grandmother have; the lake is always welcoming and the place to go when they need to escape and recharge. The spirit of the lake is alive and always watching...

Both stories kept me interested in finding out what exactly happens to Addie, and how she ends up appearing in the lake 100 years after she's died. You have to just go with it, and accept that the lake has protected her body all this time, and released it now for a reason. That reason is Kate. The police investigation, and suspicion on Kate is pretty flimsy, but it spurs the plot forward. It gets Kate moving in the direction of solving the mystery, and meeting the handsome Detective Nick Stone.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. There's just not enough fiction written about the Great Lakes, the beauty and sheer wonder of them. And, of course, the magic. So just read this novel for the fun of it, and interesting legend that is the Daughters of the Lake. 

Rating: 4/6 for an interesting plot, even though some of the devices to move it along were kind of flimsy. But I didn't mind, because I found the storyline interesting and hard to put down. Lake Superior is a major character in this novel, and it will make you yearn for some quiet contemplation on the shore of a lovely lake. If you like light modern gothic mysteries with a Midwest flavor, I recommend Wendy Webb's novels. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio.

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