This is the latest book by Wendy Wax, whose novels The House On Mermaid Point, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey, Ocean Beach, Ten Beach Road, Magnolia Wednesdays and The Accidental Bestseller I’ve really enjoyed reading.
A cottage at Lake George is where Emma Michaels, actress of romantic comedies, retreats to whenever she needs to get away from New York CIty. Two such occasions were when she divorced her husband sixteen years earlier and when she divorced her parents when she was only 14. Mackenzie Hayes has a degree and career in fashion design. She has been approached about putting together a book comprising her best posts from her blog, Married Without Children. She writes about how sweet a life could be even without children in it and how much more time and energy a couple could give each other when their family comprised of only two. Serena Stockton is a successful voice actress. Both she and Mackenzie are fairy godmothers to Emma’s 15-year-old daughter Zoe. They have arranged to meet at the Lake House, the first time in five years, when they had previously met every year for ten years, since their friendship started.
However, Emma meets with a horrific accident and is in a coma. It is only about a hundred pages later (about three weeks) that Emma wakes up and all of them go to the Lake House for Emma’s rehabilitation from her blood clot and sepsis. Yet the writing is so clever and heartwarming that it does not feel that it’s already one-third way into the novel and there is still not a single hint about the discovery of a “long-ago betrayal” (by Emma) mentioned in the blurb!
For the next third of the novel, many things seem to be out of kilter: Besides Emma’s slow and steady recovery, Mackenzie’s husband achieves his closet-held dream which brings about a change in their marriage. Serena faces an old hurt. The three women, unintentionally, hurl words at each other. Yet Emma has still yet to share her secret with Serena and Mackenzie. What is the truth? Is is overrated?
This retreat has been a prime example of how quickly things can change. In it is also a lesson that having people you love and who you love is more important than anything else. About 50 pages before the end, the secret is out (and not revealed by Emma). But I had guessed it about 50 pages earlier, so it was no surprise to me. Yet I was eager to find out how the story would end.
Happiness isn’t something that just occurs. It is incredibly important to tell the truth though you can’t always control how it will be received. Real lilfe is messy and filled with all kinds of mistakes and heartaches. Friendships and relationchips can be complicated. Change is never easy, but it can be revealing.