Summer Reading B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | July 14, 2015

    Joshua Mohr: IMG Your Imagination, Your Fingerprint

    When I was in grad school, a teacher told our workshop that if a published novel is 300 pages, the writer had to generate 1,200 along the way. I... Continue »
    1. $17.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      All This Life

      Joshua Mohr 9781593766030

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $13.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Hawthorne Mystery- A to Z

This title in other editions

The Lake of Dead Languages


The Lake of Dead Languages Cover

ISBN13: 9780345450890
ISBN10: 0345450892
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $5.50!



Reading Group Guide

1. Given the trauma she endured there, why does

Jane return to the Heart Lake School for Girls?

Do you judge her options to be as limited as

she does? Are there other factors at work in

her decision?

2. Jane acknowledges: "I had thought it was all

right to marry someone I didn't love, but what

I hadn't counted on was how it felt to share

someone I loved with someone I didn't." Discuss

the nature of Jane and Mitch's marriage

and the impact Olivia's birth had on it.

3. How does motherhood change Jane's life?

4. Discuss Jane's socioeconomic background and

its impact on her. Would you agree or disagree

that class mobility in the United States takes a

toll that is not always acknowledged or discussed?

5. How does Jane's image of herself correspond

(or not) with how others perceive her?

6. Lucy's aunt has a very different perspective

on Lucy that contrasts sharply with Jane's

worshipful remembrance. Do you think Jane is

finally able to see Lucy in a more complicated

light by the end of the novel? Why or why


7. How would you describe Lucy and how do you

understand her actions?

8. Lucy had a magnetism that drew people to

her, inspiring conflict and jealousy within her

circle. Have you ever had such a friend or been

such a friend?

9. Discuss the particular intensity of adolescent

friendships and the havoc they can wreak as

well as the benefits.

10. Do you think tragedy might have been

averted if Lucy had been able to tell Matt the

"something that changes everything," which

Helen Chambers shared with her?

11. Matt's aunt refers to Jane as "Mattie's girl."

What do you think was the true nature of

Matt's feelings toward Jane?

12. Discuss the merits and drawbacks of the

popular theories, ascribed to by school psychologist

Candace Lockhart in this novel,

about the crisis of confidence experienced by

adolescent girls and its effects.

13. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of single-

sex versus coed schools. Which educational

setting do you prefer and why?

14. Why do Jane's students decide to "go easy on

her"? What does she think? What do you


15. Do you consider Jane a good teacher? What

qualities constitute a good teacher?

16. What do you think of Helen Chambers's behavior

toward her students, particularly her

attitude toward and decisions regarding Lucy?

Was the school's decision to fire Chambers

justified? Do you think this decision was based

solely on her sexual orientation?

17. Discuss the many secrets finally brought to

light in this novel and the corrosive and destructive

impact secrets can have on those

keeping them and those from whom information

is withheld.

18. Jane has lived under a cloud of guilt and remorse

since her senior year at Heart Lake. She

wonders "if there's any end to this cycle of

guilt and retribution." Do you think the truth

will set her free?

19. Jane is haunted by a past that has severely

compromised her ability to live in the present.

Discuss how people can become

trapped by the past and how to make

peace with it.

20. What shape do you imagine Jane's life will

take after the end of this novel? Do you

think she will leave Heart Lake? Should she?

21. Do you think the Heart Lake School will survive

its most recent scandal?

22. There are many mysteries to be solved

over the course of this novel. How do you

read mysteries? Are you content to go

along for the ride or determined to unravel

the mysteries before the author reveals

them? If you are the latter kind of reader,

did the author stump you or did you figure

out what was going on in advance?

23. Discuss the structure of this novel as it

shifts between the present and the past.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

BookieBarb, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by BookieBarb)
I've always enjoyed Carol Goodman's writing, but I believe this is my favorite so far. Her characters become friends (or enemies) and you hate to let them go at the end of the book. The structure of this book is interesting, if a little confusing at first, but it works well for this particular story. By the end, we have love, understanding, and redemption...what more can one ask.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
bkozi6, January 3, 2013 (view all comments by bkozi6)
A wonderful story of growing up and growing aware, written by an author who always seems to find just the right word or phrase. The flashback format can get a bit confusing at first, but it is also essential to the story she is telling. I found this a fascinating read.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
JWW, December 15, 2010 (view all comments by JWW)
This book has been compared by critics to Donna Tart’s Secret History but I think it is so much better. The premise is pretty straight forward as far as mysteries go, a woman comes back to teach at a school where she has a dark and troubled past that she is forced to face. What makes this book really stand out for me is Goodman’s writing. It is engrossing and has a wonderful flow which made it very easy for me to devour this book in only a few sittings.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

Goodman, Carol
Ballantine Books
Marrow, Linda
Marrow, Linda
New York
Suspense fiction
Psychological fiction
Teenage girls
Women teachers
Private schools
Suicide victims
Adirondack Mountains.
Latin teachers
Popular Fiction-Suspense
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
January 2003
Grade Level:
8 x 5.4 x 1 in 0.75 lb

Other books you might like

  1. The Magician and the Fool Used Trade Paper $8.95
  2. Blue at the Mizzen (Aubrey-Maturin) Used Hardcover $6.50
  3. High Crimes Used Mass Market $3.50
  4. Spook Country Used Mass Market $3.95
  5. The Cabinet of Curiosities
    Used Mass Market $4.95
  6. Middlesex
    Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense

The Lake of Dead Languages Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345450890 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If you liked Secret History [Donna Tartt] you'll enjoy this suspenseful mystery set in a private girls' school in the Adirondacks. It's eerie, atmospheric and completely spellbinding.

"Review" by , "Goodman debuts strongly with this intricately plotted and captivating tale of buried secrets....Goodman weaves ancient mythology with modern legend into a chilling and evocative story of deception and complicity."
"Review" by , "Hopelessly addictive...definitely the season's guilty pleasure."
"Review" by , "A wonderfully eerie sense of place...deeply atmospheric."
"Review" by , "Like Donna Tartt's The Secret History or a good film noir...Jane's low-key narration has just the right tone to keep readers hooked."
"Review" by , "A Gothic and elegant page-turner."
"Review" by , "Trash, despite the highfalutin Latin and classic references — and not very sexy trash at that."
"Review" by , "This ultimately pleasing debut novel suffers from some plot clumsiness, including a reliance on coincidence and a few situational implausibilities. These drawbacks are forgiven and forgotten as the story builds into a thrilling, diverting read."
"Synopsis" by , A lake's shattering truth slowly floats to the surface in this national bestseller now in paperback — a stunning, captivating first novel of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins. A Top Ten Book Sense selection in hardcover.
"Synopsis" by , Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. The week before graduation, three lives were taken, all victims of suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden for more than two decades. Now Jane has returned 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 once again, young, troubled girls are beginning to die...
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at