Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be today's host on the
The Secret by The Lake Blog Tour
|Black Swam (Transworld)|
November 19 2015
When The Secret by the Lake opens, in 1931, we have a tantalising glimpse into something which happened in the past before going forwards to 1961, to a time thirty years later when Amy is the treasured nanny to Viviane, and is living with Alain and Julia in an idyllic location in France. Peaceful summers spent on the French coast and in an apartment in an affluent suburb of Paris come to an abrupt halt when Amy is recalled home to care for her grandmother. But tragedy doesn’t end there and Amy is soon needed again, this time to care for Viviane in very difficult circumstances. Reservoir Cottage, in the village of Blackwater, in Somerset is now home to Viviane and Julia, it’s a place where heartbreak and misfortune sit awkwardly on the edge of a lonely expanse of water, and the darkness of the water, mirrors the forsaken atmosphere of Reservoir Cottage.
What then follows is a deliciously creepy novel, which looks at the dynamics of family secrets. It’s a story of lives lost and of the tangled webs of malice which have been allowed to fester and which continue to twirl and dance in long forgotten shadows. In many ways, it is a profoundly sad book, and I won't enlighten you any further on that matter, but underneath the malice is a far gentler story, that of Amy's burgeoning attraction to Daniel, a young man of principle, who offers hope in dark times.
There is no doubt that Louise Douglas has the ability to take the reader by the hand, and believe me, a comforting hand to hold is very welcome during parts of this unhappy story. And as you embark on an adventure that feels so authentically real, you have to occasionally tear yourself away from the words on the page and look up to see the sky and the clouds scudding by, just to reaffirm that normal life is still going on around you. It’s been a long time since I read a book that had such a prowling malevolence which gets under your skin and creeps into the corners of your mind and really plays with your thoughts, until you can’t help but be completely taken in by what is unfolding on the page before you.
Best read with....a large glass of Tanqueray Gin ...and a comforting packet of cheese and onion crisps.
For your delectation...