It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Secrets of the Lake by Liz Trenow.
About the Author
Liz Trenow is a former journalist who spent fifteen years on regional and national newspapers, and on BBC radio and television news, before turning her hand to fiction. The Secrets of the Lake is her eighth novel. The Forgotten Seamstress reached the top twenty in the New York Times bestseller list and The Last Telegram was nominated for a national award. Her books are published all over the world and translated into many languages.
She lives in Essex with her artist husband, and they have two grown up daughters and three grandchildren. Find out more at www.liztrenow.com, or join her on Twitter or Instagram @LizTrenow or Facebook at www.facebook.com/liztrenow
About the book
In a quiet village, a terrible secret threatens to break the surface…. The war may be over, but for Molly life is still in turmoil. Following her mother’s death, her father uproots them from London for a new start in a quiet village in the Essex countryside. Soon after their arrival, Molly and her disabled brother Jimmy befriend Eli, a reclusive WW1 veteran who tends the graves in the village churchyard. He tells them of a local myth about a dragon that lives in the nearby lake. If it is disturbed, he says, evil things will happen in the village…
The young Molly dreams of becoming a journalist and finding a voice in the world, but most of the time she has to be 10-year-old Jimmy’s carer. When she falls under the spell of a local boy, the charismatic and rebellious Kit, rowing on the waters of the lake with him becomes Molly’s escape from her domestic duties. But there’s something Kit isn’t telling Molly…
Then church funds go missing and Molly’s father, the new village vicar, falls under suspicion, while Eli’s home – an old shepherd’s hut in the woods – comes under threat. When the summer heatwave breaks into a violent storm, Molly sneaks out the house to set things right but instead that night her brother vanishes, never to be seen again…
Now in her eighties and a successful children’s author, Molly finds the memory of that long hot summer stirred up again when she gets a visit from the police telling her that human remains have been found in a drained lake. Will Molly finally get an answer to the question that still haunts her decades on and discover the truth behind her brother’s disappearance?
The story is set in the present and the past. In the present Molly is in her eighties and in the past she is a young girl with a brother who has additional needs. Elderly Molly seems relieved when the police tell her they have found remains at the bottom of the lake near where she grew up. Perhaps she will finally get an answer to the mystery that has haunted her family or does she already know the truth about what happened to her baby brother?
I can’t decide whether I am impressed by the ending, and the way the author doesn’t give the reader the perfect ending with answers to all the questions – or whether the problem is that I just really need to know the answer. To be fair the ending is probably a more accurate reflection of what happens in real life, sometimes we just never get the answers we want or need.
It’s the kind of story that reminds us that our parents and elders often carry their own weight in secrets, pain and heartache on their shoulders. Molly is no different. It makes you wonder what they might be hiding, but also because we tend to forget our parents and grandparents have lived full lives before we arrive on the scene.
It’s a mystery story with both a cosy and a more sinister vibe at times, and yet Trenow ends on a note that is tragic and hopeful in equal measure.