Friday, May 27, 2022

THE SOULS OF LOST LAKE by Jaime Jo Wright, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"There was a lake hidden miles into the forest. Surrounded by oak and aspen . . . Few knew of this lake, but that day the search party stumbled on it. Lost in the wilderness, they found its shoreline, and set away in the woods they discovered its horror."

Tales told around the campfire. . . meant to scare children and entertain adults. However, the story of Ava Coons was the kind of yarn that kept repeating itself, or at least that is what the people near Deer Lake Bible Camp in the Northwoods of Wisconsin were beginning to think. Another little girl. Missing without a trace. Was it possible, or even conceivable, that the ghost of Ava Coons had come to haunt them again?

Ava Coons was a pathetic little figure; stumbling out of the woods dragging a bloody lumberman's ax that would have been impossibly heavy for her spindly arms to wield, and yet her family had been brutally murdered (if the blood on the scene was any indication) while Ava continued to insist that she had no recollection of the event. Convenient or tragic . . . no one could decide. Years went by. And then there were more . . .

Arwen Blythe has lived on Deer Lake Bible Camp property for years. Even though she is frequently surrounded by people, Wren often grapples with feelings of lostness and isolation, she has a difficult time bonding with anyone. When a tourist's daughter named Jasmine disappears, Wren randomly dreams about the shores of Lost Lake and begins to convince herself that she too has seen the wandering ghost of Ava Coons . . . but what possible connection could she have to one so young, and to another who is simply a subject of local lore?

Two young women; decades apart, routinely misunderstood, with strong feeling of displacement; longing for belonging. They may have more in common than anyone ever expected. Will the road to discovery will not be easy for either of them? No, it will not.

"Some things couldn't be captured but through the experience of pain. It was a wicked but essential way to understand the depths of perfection, the depths of God . . ."

"We're all lost in our own ways. Some of us just hide when we shouldn't. We hide in our grief, in our minds, in our pain . . . in the woods . . . or in a story, like Ava Coons."

Excellent book! 

*I purchased a copy of this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
To save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, helping her father with ministry at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family, whose bodies were never found, and that the people of Tempter's Creek will always blame her for their violent deaths. And after a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

Two women, separated by time, must confront a wickedness that not only challenges who they are but also threatens their lives, and the lives of those they love.

Bethany House Publishing, April, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy THE SOULS OF LOST LAKE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House


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