Thursday, August 10, 2023

LADIES OF THE LAKE by Cathy Gohlke, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

I’m a great fan of Cathy Gohlke’s writing. I enjoy the way she combines a compelling inspirational story with a background of interesting slices of history. Ladies of the Lake is a fantastic example of this. Set mainly in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Connecticut in dual timelines of the early 1900s and 1935, this book follows the lives of four friends from the Lakeside Ladies Academy as they transition to adulthood and life takes them in different directions. Amid heartache, WWI, the Halifax explosion of 1917, and secrets kept, can their friendship mend and endure?

“And how can I hope to be forgiven if I don’t forgive?”

With themes of friendship, forgiveness, love, and family, this riveting tale kept me intrigued and turning pages to find out what was going to happen. I was impressed with the way the author seamlessly pulled the dual timelines together so it wasn’t jarring to switch back and forth. The historical and faith elements were organically and skillfully woven in. Beautifully written and poignant, this story illustrated again why Cathy Gohlke is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. I would recommend this to those who enjoy exceptional inspirational historical fiction.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishing through NetGalley. I also won a copy in a contest. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
After two young women’s deep bond is torn apart, what will it take to bring them together again? In
The Ladies of the Lake, the beloved author of Saving Amelie and Night Bird Calling returns with a transformative new historical novel about the wonder and complexities of friendship, love, and belonging.

When she is forced to leave her beloved Prince Edward Island to attend Lakeside Ladies Academy after the death of her parents, the last thing Adelaide Rose MacNeill expects to find is three kindred spirits. The “Ladies of the Lake,” as the four girls call themselves, quickly bond like sisters, vowing that wherever life takes them, they will always be there for each other. But that is before: Before love and jealousy come between Adelaide and Dorothy, the closest of the friends. Before the dawn of World War I upends their world and casts baseless suspicion onto the German American man they both love. Before a terrible explosion in Halifax Harbor rips the sisterhood irrevocably apart.

Seventeen years later, Rosaline Murray receives an unsuspecting telephone call from Dorothy, now headmistress of Lakeside, inviting her to attend the graduation of a new generation of girls, including Rosaline’s beloved daughter. With that call, Rosaline is drawn into a past she’d determined to put behind her. To memories of a man she once loved . . . of a sisterhood she abandoned . . . and of the day she stopped being Adelaide MacNeill.

Written by a four-time Christy award–winning author!
Ideal for book clubs—contains helpful discussion questions at the end!
Perfect for fans of L. M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, and Lauren Willig’s Band of Sisters.

Tyndale House Publishing, July, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:


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