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Daughters of the Lake Kindle Edition
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The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of a lady named Madalena living in Switzerland. She has planned a reunion at home with her middle aged children joining in. Why dysfunctional? Because each one has a personal battle to fight. For the what, why and how, you really need to read this book. What really caught my attention was Madalena, the mother. The story line brings out an important message through her character and that is to live life. Times may be trying and circumstances may change. However, what really matters is the fact that one learns to live. Madalena learns to let go, learns to love and wishes the same for her children.
The language is simple and Jane has beautifully brought out the subtle undercurrents that exist between the siblings. Women are known to be the best example for emotions. Through the daughters and their mother, the author has narrated the twists and turmoils many women feel at various stages of their life. There are imageries but as one reads through, its like being a mute spectator to a family drama that silently unfolds. There are a few moments where there seems to be a disconnect in the narration. It could be my perception. Maybe too many complicated situations and complexities in the lives of the daughters are the reason. However, the surprise twist in the end more than makes up for it.
Though Madalena is not the main protagonist, she is the binding element between her children, especially daughters. As far as the other characters are concerned, they emote, they express feelings and are as human as can be. They may not be like you and me but they have their own persona etched out. Through them Jane has aptly portrayed the strong yet vulnerable side of women of all ages. The bond, the conflicts, the relationship that these women share is the essence of this story.
To sum up, this book is about complexities of human life set amidst the pristine climes of Switzerland. Read this book if you value family relationships. Read it if you believe that all is well that ends well. Read it if you are an optimist who has learnt to let go and believe in happy endings.
P.S - Jane, a really lovely story of family relationships and bonding. Your daughters of the lake took me back to my daughters and reminded me of my role as a daughter as well.
One of her daughters is a barrister (suitably named Portia), another a concert pianist with nerves and fear of illness. Another is trying to come to terms with the fact that her lady partner has left her for the man who's fathered the baby they'd planned to have as a gay couple. And the rebellious girl Lucy arrives, daughter of the barrister, expelled from boarding school and with a fixation on believing that she's not her father's daughter. Which would be so inconvenient if true.
There are a few men scattered through, from a young correspondent son who insists on staying at the rival hotel, to a husband who takes his women when he can get them. Set today, this is a sort of 'Room With A View' which appeals for the European atmosphere and the character studies.
I found the swift switching among several women's points of view hard to keep track of, because from the same family obviously they all had similar modes of thought, speech, phrases and concerns. There was no immediate way to tell them apart until we were reminded that this is the pianist or this one has the law students. I only really felt I was identifying them easily by the end of the tale. The women are adjusting to middle age and wondering if they are dressed inappropriately. Lucy with her 'whatevers', iPod and Doc Martens was a refreshing change. If not the ideal daughter.
The raclette, rosti and chocolate cake, accompanied by champagne, sound deliciously indulgent. I was pleased that Madalena, after her incessant hard work, has taken her own steps towards a happy future. By the end of the journey the characters have found various paths to the new portions of their lives. Looking back, or facing today, has enabled them to step to the future. I can recommend Daughters Of The Lake to anyone looking for a gentle read in women's fiction.
I received a copy for an unbiased review.
Most recent customer reviews
Jane Riddell's "Daughters of the Lake" is a welcome entry into the family drama genre of storytelling.Read more