Jun 6, 2015

Review: The Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon

Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” (Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author) novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.

Iris Standish has always been the responsible older sibling: the one with the steady marriage, loving family, and sensible job. But all of a sudden, as her carefully-constructed life spins out of her control, a cryptic postcard from her estranged sister Leah arrives at the perfect time: Please Come. Iris seizes her chance to escape to her childhood lakeside home, where Leah is planning her summer wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met.

Against a backdrop of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Leah hides secrets of her own. And while her sister faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say good-bye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As new love beckons and Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive—and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors in this enticing novel of second chances and the ties that bind.

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Iris and Leah are very different. Iris has always been responsible and in control while Leah is the popular one. Leah has the adventures, Leah is the one everyone likes. And Iris used to be there to clean up the mess. Now she hasn't seen her sister in years. Iris is living in the city and she's too busy to return to her parents' farm in New Hampshire. She's married and has three children. When Iris receives a postcard from her sister with just the words 'Please Come' she packs her bags and returns to her childhood home. Her marriage is over, her children don't like her and she doesn't seem to belong anywhere. Everyone loves Leah, she's engaged now and she has managed to make a bigger success of the farm. Even strangers seem to know more about her own sister than Iris. Her parents haven't told her anything and her sister hasn't been in touch very often over the years.

Leah is going to get married in a few weeks and everyone is busy with the organization. While Iris has escaped her home and her uncaring husband who wants to divorce her Leah is the center of attention all over again. She's getting married to a rich, but very kind man. Leah seems to have it all, but something isn't right. She doesn't behave like someone who's in love and happy and Leah still tries to take things away from her sister. Iris doesn't know what it is that's bothering her and even though she resents her sister a little, she's also worried. While helping Cooper, an old class mate, to rebuild the barn Iris finally reconnects with her old self again. Only what will happen when the summer comes to an end?

Iris has lost herself completely and she needs time to get back on her feet. While she craves love and attention most of it is going to her sister. Fortunately Iris has her best friend to support her and there's also Cooper, the guy she secretly admired in high school. Iris still likes him, but Leah tries to come between them. Iris needs to use her own strength and perseverance to get back on track and eventually she's slowly starting to heal. 

The Lake Season is a great story about a woman who's living in the shadow of her husband and children while before she lived in the shadow of her sister. It's time Iris finds a way to step into the light. I loved to see the transformation. Hannah McKinnon has written a realistic and moving story. I felt so bad for Iris and could totally understand that she was feeling left out. I really wanted to give her a hug. Spending time at the lake is giving Iris the chance to discover more about herself and finally she can do things just for her and not only for everyone around her. I think there are quite a few women who are feeling exactly like Iris and it was great to read such a beautiful and honest story about this topic. I loved this book and think it's a strong summer read.


  1. This sounds like the kind of read that would appeal to many women, me included! Fab review (and the cover is beautiful, perfect for the story). Thanks for sharing, Suze. :) xx

  2. Lovely review, suze. The cover is as appealing as the blurb. Thanks for sharing.


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