Saturday, October 21, 2023

LADIES OF THE LAKE by Cathy Gohlke, Reviewed by Rebecca

"Friendship is a most precious and delicate thing - a rare gift that must be handled with integrity and care, nurtured throughout a lifetime if it is to flourish. Believe me when I say that I know the value and the loss of such a gift."

If, "We - Susannah Eudora Calhoun, Ruth Mason Hennessey, Dorothy Marie Belding, and Adelaide Rose MacNeill, hereafter known as the Ladies of the Lake, do solemnly swear this day . . . that we shall stick by one another through thick and thin . . . " could have known what that oath of friendship would entail, would they have made it? Those words meant the most to the one who had the most to lose, causing deep despair to the point of painful anonymity.

What a compelling read! War changed everything for those four idealistic young women of Lakeside Ladies Academy; secrets were kept, lies were told, hearts were broken, dreams were reduced to ashes. Yet God's providence reigned supreme. Gently echoing the life of Joseph of old, what might have been intended as a means of harm was miraculously transformed into a conduit of restoration.
Putting aside my lack of deference for "mean girl" tropes, the author's story-weaving expertise produced a magnificent story. Confession is always good for the soul.
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
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:



1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Rebecca, for this wonderful review of Ladies of the Lake! I'm so glad you found the story compelling. I loved writing this one!


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