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The Lake House

Written by: Kate Morton
Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 21 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Living on her family’s gorgeous lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, clever, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented 14-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure....

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest son, Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined, leaving their estate as empty as their broken hearts.

Nearly 60 years later, having enjoyed a long, successful career as an author, Alice is now 80 years old and living in London. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbours a suspicion as to the culprit.

Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate - now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone... yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is spellbinding and satisfying.

©2015 Kate Morton (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What the critics say

"Morton excels at creating absorbing mystery." ( People)
"Morton is the master of the atmospheric old-fashioned novel packed with enough stories to fill all the worn satchels in the Milderhurst attic." ( Bookpage)

What listeners say about The Lake House

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

First listen after reading 2 others

I have read two other Kate Morton books, and I enjoyed listening to "The Lake House", the story lines were so much easier to follow, as I read at such a slow rate, and I listened to the book much more often! The story and narration make you feel like you are right there a part of history!

4 people found this helpful

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Beautifully Narrated

Held my attention through to the end. Very well read. The story was a sad reflection of what a mother will endure to protect a child.

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Life is about Serendipity and Embracing it 🙏

I loved the connections made in the novel even if they seemed so unbelievable. Life is like that when we see a coincidence occur we tend to deflect it from our life’s rather than paying attention to it.

In my own life I’ve had many coincidences occur like the man I saved from taking his life. Finding out only years later that his sister was my daughters beloved neighbour. Amazing eh 🙏❤️

Enjoy life and embrace the connections that make us human. That’s what Kate Morton offers in her novels.

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A great book for a long trip

Love her books & sad when they are done. A few confusing moments with audio.

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Lovely...

Although it is a long story, the characters are interesting, the story is intriguing, and the narrator excellent at making each character their own voice.

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A great mystery that will keep you guessing

I loved it! It was hard to stop listening! It was full of great characters, a great storyline and an intriguing mystery. I highly recommend it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!

loved the story struggled through the middle but glad I persevered. well worth the read

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer S
  • 2018-12-28

Enjoyed the writing, but oy vey, this book

This was my first Kate Morton experience. I will say that I like her writing style and the way she layered the story and layered the character developments. However, I was disappointed with this book. I am in the minority of reviewers who found “the twists and turns” to be annoying instead of engrossing. The “twists and turns” were more often than not red herrings/mis-direction — one direction, then another over and over and over again for 18+ hours. The mis-directions honestly read as lazy writing, especially from someone acclaimed to be a great storyteller. Too much supposition, not enough real intrigue. I had to force myself to continue thru to the end. And then the ending!! Ugh. It was so outlandish, yet too tidy and pat — I unwittingly yelled out loud, on the subway, "You've f***ing got to be kidding!"

Because I like her prose and the ways she constructs a story — and many reviewers say her other books are better — I'm going to give Kate Morton one more try.

214 people found this helpful

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  • DRoss
  • 2019-08-02

So Boring

I had to return this book. It wasn’t a mystery. It was just a long boring story. It was very hard to follow.

58 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marcy Jess
  • 2019-04-28

Slow...

I struggled with this book. The first half was a very slow build and spent a lot of time on back story for the characters. I just couldn't figure out where it was going and what exactly was filler and what was important.
There were a lot of mini "cliffhangers" throughout the book that just made me want to scream "get on with it! " It was like the author wanted to save all the drama up to the last minute. Which she did... and which ended up having the effect of my being able to spot most of the twists before they came. Especially the final twist. Which I not only saw coming, but I also felt buttoned this story up a little too nicely. I am actually a big fan of "Murder She Wrote" for the fun, campy mysteries, but those storylines that are summed up in a half hour should not be drawn out into a 10+hour book.
If it were shorter I think I might have enjoyed the book much more. I did like the setting, the switch back and forth in time period, and the two storylines coming together. It just needed a good dose of editing down and not as many little rabbit holes for the characters to meander down.
Overall I can't say I would recommend it unless you're looking for an easy summer read you can put down and pick up frequently as your interest desires.

55 people found this helpful

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  • Annie Longley
  • 2019-07-22

Not Morton's Best

2.5 out of 5 Stars

The Lake House is a fair entry on Kate Morton's long list of historical and historically-influenced fiction novels but for me, it is certainly not one of her best. This book hits all the bullet points of the classic Kate Morton novel. Vintage setting? Check. An old mystery and/or death? Check. A child at the center of the crime or story? Check. An old house at the center of everything? Check.

Don’t get me wrong, I like a successful formula as much as the next gal but this one just felt stale. Although this is far from the longest of Morton's books this one has certainly felt the longest to me. I found myself checking how much time was left on this book far more often than I normally do which is not exactly a great thing when thinking about your impressions of a book. The thing is that even though I did feel very impatient throughout the listen I never turned it off, I was still interested enough to finish it and in my case listen to it twice.

If I were to pinpoint the one thing that makes me rank this book below the other Kate Morton novels I've listened to is the focus on Sadie and her storyline. Whenever the focus shifted more to Sadie was when I felt myself losing interest. Sadie is the obligatory Morton modern-day protagonist who steers the retelling of the past events. The issue with Sadie is that her individual story and history didn’t seem to connect with the historical story (always the real draw). It wasn’t very compelling and unlike Elodie in The Clockmaker's Daughter or Cassandra in The Forgotten Garden I just never cared about her or her issues.

The Lake House is not a bad listen, it is just a rather mediocre one compared to the other Morton novels. With the runtime for the audiobook at about 21.5 hours, I can't really recommend it to most people as there are many other better books that require a lot less of a time commitment.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2019-07-16

Indulgent

On and on with ideas. Where is her editor? How many characters, scenarios, and time periods do you need to tell a good story? A few less, in my humble opinion.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mel
  • 2015-12-08

The Morton Formula


When I began reading Morton I envisioned some grande dame writing her novels from an aging manor in the English countryside. I was surprised to finally see that this Australian author, that so deftly slips her readers into chapters from history, is about the same age as my own daughter. The Lake House takes place in Cornwall, England between 1930 and about 2003, following the tried and true formula that Morton has used from the beginning of her career: submersive period pieces that neatly tie a past mystery to a moment of intrigue in the future. The mystery here revolves around the abduction of a well-to-do family's (Anthony and Eleanor Edevane) infant son, taken from their estate during a party at their grand estate. The case was retired, never solved.

....Cut to 2003, where a troubled Detective Constable Sadie Sparrow (with secrets of her own), becomes intrigued with the old case and searches out one of the kidnapped infant's sisters. Alice Edevane is a famous mystery/crime writer, advanced in years and very ill. What follows is a complex story that unravels with a surprise around every corner.

Morton never disappoints even though she doesn't stray from her formulaic structure and some *coincidences* are a little hard to swallow. The textured and layered story keeps you too busy to dwell on any awkward contrivances, following along as every detailed is put into place. Her characters are more definitive of central casting than out of central casting, all integral parts of the story, both physically and psychologically drawn. Lake House seemed to have a larger cast involved in the plot than her other books, and felt at times like keeping track of Orange A while juggling Oranges A, B, C, & D.

You may find yourself wondering if you've missed a turn somewhere along the line and wandered passed a landmark you've seen before if you have read her other books; a tiny problem with such formulaic reads by authors with a definitive style. But, it is entertaining and moves quickly, and who doesn't enjoy a little sleuthing in an old English estate with a mysterious past? Recommend to fans of this genre.

231 people found this helpful

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  • Maria
  • 2015-10-30

BRAVO!!!!!!!

I am an enormous Kate Morton fan, as well as a devoted Caroline Lee fan. I believe wholeheartedly that The Lake House is the best yet for both women. I listened nearly straight through -- up until the point about 4 hours from the end when I realized I was getting too close to the last words and forced myself to slow it down. I wanted it to last forever! While some puzzle pieces were simple enough to figure out from early on, others were a complete surprise at the end. Caroline Lee was once again brilliant, and narrated the entire book perfectly from start to finish. I couldn't even imagine a Kate Morton book without her voice in my head. The scenes of Cornwall were deliciously descriptive, and made me want to visit. The carefully woven web of the plot was superb, and I felt so incredibly satisfied at the end. All in all, a terrific book! The only downside is that I have to once again wait patiently for the next...

230 people found this helpful

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  • Searcy L. Cunningham
  • 2019-04-05

Rambling over the Ages

If this had been condensed, it would have been a pretty good story. BUT it was expanded to distraction. I must have rewound a hundred times because I lost focus. Too much about too many over too long a period of time. However, it was a good one to put me to sleep with a 15 minute timer. I thought it would never end - and then in the very last few chapters, it finally picked up pace, solved all the problems neatly, and was over.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Douglas J. Stanard
  • 2019-06-15

Preposterous

Good performance and a somewhat interesting story. But, and it’s a big but, the ending is preposterous and one has to listen for hours only to have the most ridiculous coincidence ruin the book.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • 2015-12-26

Tedious!

This book dragged on forever! The story could have been good if one half the length. I was so glad when it was finally over! I love listening to Caroline Lee but even she could not endear me to this book. I found myself drifting off over and over and having no idea what had been read for the last 10 minutes. I kept rewinding and relistening for the first half of the book. By the 2nd half, I didn't care enough to rewind. The only reason I kept listening was I had nothing else to do in my commute time and I really did want to know how the story ended. It was just painful getting to the end.

76 people found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2020-06-07

Amazing story, great writer, lovely storyteller.

The first novel of K. Morton I’ve « read ». I’m just going to tell you all to READ this such amazing story...! You won’t be disappointed if you like entangled stories between the characters, and if you like family secrets and mystery. This audiobook was lovely to listen to, I really loved C. Lee’s voice and diction! All in all, DO EMBARK ON THIS ADVENTURE!!!

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  • Gringo
  • 2019-09-11

Long and ever the same

I have heard 2 other books from this writer and reader before. And this time it really bothered me that it 's always the same... places, gardens, family and especially daughter relationships, books and a young writer, the structure of the story... How un-inventive !! Here the story also had serious lengths, and the end is just silly. And then the elaborate thoughts of a 10 months old Baby ... that really had me roll my eyes. The safe is the beautiful Reading performance. So - acceptable for when you don’t know any other of the writer‘ s work, but really not more.