28 June 2022
Sainte-Marie-du-Lac Series #1
My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
A vanished daughter. A failing marriage. A mother’s life in ruins.
1969. As France seethes in the wake of social unrest, eight-year-old Juliette is caught up in the turmoil of her parents’ fragmenting marriage.Unable to bear another argument, she flees her home.
Neighbours joining the search for Juliette are stunned that such a harrowing thing could happen in their tranquil lakeside village.
But this is nothing compared to her mother, Lea’s torment, imagining what has befallen her daughter. Léa, though, must remain strong to run her auberge and as the seasons pass with no news from the gendarmes, she is forced to accept she may never know her daughter’s fate.
Despite the villagers’ scepticism, Léa’s only hope remains with a clairvoyant who believes Juliette is alive.
But will mother and daughter ever be reunited?
📖 My Review...
In the summer of 1969, eight year old, Juliette Bellefontaine lives with her parents, Léa and Bruno, and her grandmère, Mamie Louise, at the Auberge de Léa which is situated near the atmospheric, Lac du Héron. This picturesque lake is a place of natural beauty however, it also has a brooding presence which is made all the more forbidding when Juliette goes missing after being upset by yet another noisy argument between her mother and father. Juliette's disappearance is quite out of character as she is normally a bright and sunny little girl, who enjoys playing with her friends, or running around with her dog, Belle, and yet with no real clues as to her whereabouts the local gendarmerie have to conclude that Juliette may well have been taken against her will.
What then follows is a tense story of a mother's unwillingness to accept that she will never see her daughter again and of the effect that suspicion and mistrust has on a small community. This is a place where it would seem that whilst everyone knows each other's business there are still dangerous secrets deep in the heart of this rural community. The oppressive atmosphere of the late 1960s comes alive with a definite sense of foreboding which strikes right at the heart of the story and there is a sense of creeping unease which is skillfully handled by an author who knows just how to keep the suspense alive without ever compromising on the emotional pull of the story.
Beautifully written, rural France comes alive in the minutest detail and with an intricate and suspenseful mystery at its core, Lake of Echoes sees the successful start of a new historical mystery series by this talented writer.
🍷Best Read with..a slice of Mamie Louise's lemon chiffon pie
About the author
Liza grew up in Australia where she worked as a general nurse and a midwife. When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for twenty-nine years, working as a medical translator and a novelist.
Several of her short stories have won awards, and been published in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture are published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.
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Many thanks for a lovely review, Jo... so glad you enjoyed Lake of Echoes!ReplyDelete
Always a pleasure, Liza.Delete