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Lake People

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Lake People Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A haunting, luminous debut novel set in a small New Hampshire town: the story of the crisscrossing of lives, within and without family, and of one woman, given up for adoption as a baby, searching for the truth about her life.

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. Alice grows up aching for an acceptance she can't quite imagine, trying to find it first with an older man, then with one who can't love her back, and finally in the love she feels for one she has never met. And all the while, she feels a mysterious pull to the lake. As Alice edges ever closer to her past, Lake People beautifully evokes the interweaving of family history and individual fate, and the intangible connections we feel to the places where we were born. 

Review:

"Perhaps if the many characters and tragedies of this debut had been partitioned off into separate novels or stories, they would have had a better chance at sympathy or sustained interest. As it is, this novel drowns in pathos. Alice, adopted as an infant and haunted by her birth family and ancestors, tells her story, their stories, and the stories of the inhabitants of her small New England lake town, Kettleborough, N.H., from early settlers who go back several generations to more direct players in her melancholic tale. The plot is driven almost entirely by what comes to feel like a catalog of tragedies: suicides, car accidents, disappearances, a fire, characters oppressed and scorned for their sexual orientation or social status, domestic abuse, a miscarriage, statutory rape, killing. Rather than resonating with depth or greater meaning, however, the results is a book hobbled by tragedy, not helped by an endless foreboding and an often ponderous tone. Characters are forced into inhuman postures in the name of serious subjects. The minimalism of the prose, working against the melodrama, tries to wrestle the book from its accumulated weight. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Markson Thoma. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A haunting, luminous debut novel set in a small New Hampshire town: story of crisscrossing lives and of one woman, given up for adoption as a baby, searching for the truth about her life.

As an infant, Alice Thornton was discovered 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 that lake, ashamed of her heart; Sophie, the grandmother who turned a blind eye to her unwanted granddaughter. Alice grows up aching for an acceptance she can’t quite imagine, trying to find it first with an older man, then with who can’t love her back, and finally in the love she feels for one she has never met. And all the while she feels a mysterious pull to the lake. As Alice edges ever closer to her past, Lake People beautifully evokes the interweaving of family history and individual fate, and the intangible connections we feel to the place where we were born.

About the Author

ABI MAXWELL holds an MFA from the University of Montana. She grew up in Tilton, New Hampshire, where she now lives with her husband. She works as assistant librarian at the Gilford Public Library.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307961655
Author:
Maxwell, Abi
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.6 x 5.9 x 0.9 in 0.8188 lb

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Featured Titles » Literature
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Lake People Used Hardcover
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$8.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307961655 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Perhaps if the many characters and tragedies of this debut had been partitioned off into separate novels or stories, they would have had a better chance at sympathy or sustained interest. As it is, this novel drowns in pathos. Alice, adopted as an infant and haunted by her birth family and ancestors, tells her story, their stories, and the stories of the inhabitants of her small New England lake town, Kettleborough, N.H., from early settlers who go back several generations to more direct players in her melancholic tale. The plot is driven almost entirely by what comes to feel like a catalog of tragedies: suicides, car accidents, disappearances, a fire, characters oppressed and scorned for their sexual orientation or social status, domestic abuse, a miscarriage, statutory rape, killing. Rather than resonating with depth or greater meaning, however, the results is a book hobbled by tragedy, not helped by an endless foreboding and an often ponderous tone. Characters are forced into inhuman postures in the name of serious subjects. The minimalism of the prose, working against the melodrama, tries to wrestle the book from its accumulated weight. Agent: Eleanor Jackson, Markson Thoma. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A haunting, luminous debut novel set in a small New Hampshire town: story of crisscrossing lives and of one woman, given up for adoption as a baby, searching for the truth about her life.

As an infant, Alice Thornton was discovered 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 that lake, ashamed of her heart; Sophie, the grandmother who turned a blind eye to her unwanted granddaughter. Alice grows up aching for an acceptance she can’t quite imagine, trying to find it first with an older man, then with who can’t love her back, and finally in the love she feels for one she has never met. And all the while she feels a mysterious pull to the lake. As Alice edges ever closer to her past, Lake People beautifully evokes the interweaving of family history and individual fate, and the intangible connections we feel to the place where we were born.

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