“When your cup is empty, you do not mourn what is gone. Because if you do, you will miss the opportunity to fill it up again.”
Many of Sarah Addison Allen's fans have been waiting, with bated breath, for her next novel. Lost Lake comes just as Ms Allen is celebrating her second year in remission from her fight against breast cancer and I can't think of a better way to celebrate.
I've read all of Ms. Allen's novels and I have to say that I think Lost Lake is her best yet. I feel the blood, sweat and tears, the heart and soul poured into every word of this novel. She is reflective and very often humorous. I rarely laugh out loud when reading a novel since I don't read comedic material, but reading one of the ladies say to the other "You could find a flea on a pissant" made me cackle. This book is full of southern gems like country grocery stores where you just send a list and they pack you a box and a hybrid pizza restaurant/fix it shop named HandyMan Pizza. Charming.
I especially appreciate the theme of relationship running through the novel. Lost Lake is the Land of Misfits, and all the Misfits manage to find each other. Kate and her daughter Devin; Lisette and John (and Luc, the ghost of her lover that killed himself after she broke up with him); Bulahdeen and Selma (my favorites- I totally see Meryl Streep and Shirley McClaine in my head); Eby and the entire community of Suley, Georgia. I love seeing them make sacrifices for each other, saving each other, doing for the other what they wouldn't do for themselves and using last opportunities to help someone else when they could be selfish and use it for personal gain. These relationships, while separate, tie everyone together like a makeshift family.
As always, Allen includes a bit of magic in each book, but there was SO MUCH fun magic in Lost Lake! The alligator and the alligator box, Devin's magical ability to see things, the food (of course the food) and Selma's charms. Turning each page was a sheer pleasure. I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen next. The ending is happy and satisfying.
What a perfect, enchanting read. This is the kind of book that I know I'll read again soon. It's full of great nuggets that one can apply to life. I'm already ready for another novel!