Monday, February 2, 2015

Final Discussion Post - Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Last discussion post of the book! *wistful sigh* I can't believe a whole month has already come and gone. I'm going to cheat a little bit this week and pull some interesting questions from the book club pamphlet that was printed to go with this book! I didn't want to do it too early, because there were spoilers.


Chapters: Chapter 12 through End

1.  Eby’s falling-down resort attracts misfits of all kinds, some more likable than others. Which characters did you find the most endearing? And which, inversely, alienated you? Were there others who won you over by the novel’s end?

2. Certain characters, like Kate and Eby, experience their life’s magic as a sort of enchantment, unpredictable and yet not unpleasant. Did that carry over to you as you were reading it? Did the characters’ easy acceptance of day-to-day magical happenings make it easier for you to believe in them too?

3.  The women in Kate’s extended family are all too experienced with widowhood. Eby calls it the “Morris curse.” But all of the widows react very differently to their tragedies. What is it about some of the Morris women that makes them especially vulnerable to losing themselves in grief? What, do you think, would have happened to Kate and Devin had Kate never ‘woken up’ from her own sorrow?

4. Eby says that if “we measured life in the things that almost happened, we wouldn’t get anywhere.” Do you agree? You may wish to talk about your own fateful “almosts” as well.



I have to say that the one character that slowly made her way into my heart was Selma. I really wanted to dislike her at the beginning. Despite the fact that I could see the want in her heart, the need to be loved, I disagreed with how she went about it. The end totally smashed that to pieces for me. She became a big piece of this story, and I adored her for it. If there was a character who I disliked, that would have to be Lazslo. Which makes sense since he's our "villain" of sorts. Profit weighs out over everything for him.

One of the things I absolutely adore about Sarah Addison Allen's books is that the magic she pours into them just becomes a part of the story. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that Selma would have love charms, or that Billy would have become an alligator. If there was any place those things could happen, I truly believe Lost Lake would be it. I do think that the fact that the characters just accept these things as fact, that their hearts and minds are open to the magic, does make it easier to take it all in. You just know it's part of the story, and you embrace it.

Moving on to widowhood, I did a lot of thinking about this question. I think the driving factor for the Morris women who came out of their sorrow was that they had something else to pour their life into. Eby lost George, and she was sad, but she had Lost Lake and its memories and inhabitants to pour herself into. When Kate lost her husband, I think allowing Cricket to take over almost moored her completely in her sorrow. The fact that she had nothing to focus on, because everything was being done for her, allowed her to wallow. When she "woke up" and realized that Devin needed her, that was the end. She poured all her love into Devin, and then into Eby, and I think that made her a better person.

Ah, I love this quote SO MUCH. It's such an elegant way of saying the more popular "When one door closes another one opens." Eby is a woman who didn't dwell on the past. Relished it, sure. Relived it, definitely. But she never allowed herself to fall into it and stop moving forward. I've been in positions before where I had the option to just sit, and mourn a lost opportunity. I think Eby is right though. It's picking yourself up from that, and moving forward anyway, that life is all about. An almost is just an almost. It's the things that actually happen that make it all worth it.

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