Title: The Secret by the Lake
Author: Louise Douglas
Publisher: Random House UK
Date: November 19th, 2015
Source: from Publisher for a review
Synopsis (from Goodreads): Amy’s always felt like something’s been missing in her life, but as a nanny for the Laurent family – Julia, Alain, Viviane – she feels complete.
So Amy wouldn’t think of leaving them when a sudden tragedy forces them to move from France to the small lakeside cottage in the isolated Somerset village where Julia grew up.
But there’s something strange about the cottage by the lake. This is where Julia spent her childhood. But she used to have an older sister, Caroline, whom she rarely speaks about…
Who disappeared at just seventeen…
Who has a secret the whole village wants kept hidden for ever…
‘Secrets make you lonely, did you know that?’
‘I never thought about it,’
‘Oh they do. It’s their nature to isolate a person. Making someone keep a secret is the same as building a wall around them. Sooner or later the person behind that wall wants to set themselves free.’
What is the cost of the true behind a lie?
What is the cost of the secret that’s hiding the true?
If you ask me what was it I expected when going into this story, I probably wouldn’t know what to tell you. But I can tell you one thing: I know I got more then I expected.
This story, written in the first person and taking place in 1960th, follows a young woman named Amy. She finds herself in a small Somerset village, taking care of a little girl named Viviane who recently lost her father. It is not an unfamiliar fact that Viviane likes to have imaginary friends. After their arrival, Viviane can’t stop talking about her new friend, Caroline, who has the same name as Viviane’s mother’s sister who died 30 years ago. Not only that she has the same name, but she also knows things from Caroline’s life that no one else but Viviane’s mother would know, and she never talks about Caroline. Suddenly, strange things start to happen in the house and Amy can’t help but wonder if Caroline is real.
This book took me by surprise. After finishing it, I needed some time to think about it, to sleep and clear my mind. My emotions are still all over the place and I know I just can’t write a review good enough to do justice to this story.
The writing style is amazing and it is full of visuals. I couldn’t help but imagine shadows of gray covering pictures in my head, playing a movie that gave me chills and kept me on the edge because I didn’t know what will come from the story.
It was like watching The Ring, only different. The atmosphere was similar, but the plot, characters and message were different.
The message. It is the most precious thing about this novel. If I tell you what it is, I would spoil your potential reading experiance, so i won’t.
But I will tell you this: If you have a chance, give this book a chance.
If you do that, I guarantee you that it will keep you awake, it will make you think about monsters, but not the paranormal ones. The real monsters that live among us and can destroy many lives. It is our responsibility to stop them.