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On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah (1999-03-05) Hardcover – January 1, 1822
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Devastated, Annie decides to take a trip back home to Mystic, Washington to visit her father, hoping to give her husband time to change his mind. While there, she learns that her childhood best friend (who she hadn't kept in touch with) recently committed suicide, leaving behind a husband and little girl. This best friend's husband had also been Annie's BFF. Now he's drowning his sorrows with booze and neglecting his young daughter. The rest of the story is pretty predictable.
In my opinion, this is not one of Kristin Hannah's best books. It's a nice romance if that's a genre you enjoy reading. But for me, it was nothing special. Maybe 3.5 stars.
Hannah didn't even throw in a contentious divorce settlement offer or her husband cutting off her credit cards to complicate Annie's life. So what could have been an interesting journey for a 40ish divorcee unfortunately turned into a formulaic romance novel...because there was nothing to be conflicted about.
While Annie was NICE, I couldn't relate to her at all: She had no job, no hobbies other than shopping, no pets, no causes dear to her heart...and really no excuses for "fading" away. They had enough money to afford a beachfront home, she lived in a city with a dozen universities, a few million people and 10,000 things to do...and yet she had no life. And that's her husband's fault?
Let's just say that the most interesting character in the novel was Nick's 6 year old daughter.
In any event, Hannah is a gifted writer,but this book was released in 1999, and it's clear that she's grown quite a bit as an author in the last decade.
This was the first book by Kristin Hannah that I have ever read. I’ve heard many great things about her over the years, just never got around to reading any of her books personally. I think On Mystic Lake was the perfect book to start with because it was definitely a great read, but it didn’t set the bar to exceedingly high. I don’t know about other readers, but I don’t want the first book I read by an author to be the absolute best one they’ve ever written because then all their other books just don’t seem as good and may cause me to lose interest. If that makes any sense. That being said, the book still exceeded my expectations!
Please bear in mind as you read this review that I read this book about a month ago so I’m trying to refresh myself using my tweets and other things to bring back the emotions.
On another side note, it’s been super hard to write this review without any spoilers.
During the first part of this book, I didn’t feel a strong connection to any of the characters– which is unusual for me because I typically get very attached to characters fairly quickly. However once the second part of the book started I sympathized with Annie so much it was unreal. The predicament she found herself in really struck a nerve with me and I felt my heart breaking for her. In the second part of the book, readers are also introduced to Nick and Izzy whom I fell attached to super quickly. They are the type of characters that you just can’t help loving. Along with this attachment to some characters came a strong dislike for others–the husband. I may be a little biased, but Blake is the typical man.
I REALLY, REALLY LOVE the premise of this book. Mostly because I’ve found myself having to overcome this same struggle. Losing yourself in someone else (a relationship/marriage) and having to rediscover what makes you YOU after that part is ripped away from you. It’s amazing to watch (read) Annie blossom into her own person and find out things about herself that she never knew. I really like the person she turns out to be.
However, in the end Annie does rip my heart out. The emotion that Kristin Hannah was able to draw out of me is truly amazing. I was so invested in this book and I just knew how it was going to end. BOY WAS I WRONG!!
There weren’t many downsides to this book that I could point out. The major one for me was that I was extremely dissatisfied with the ending of the novel. Not only because of the decisions Annie made, but because I was left with way too many questions and unresolved feelings. I definitely felt like there should have been a sequel to it and there’s not–which is very disappointing.
One More Thing
So I couldn’t figure out if this would be considered a pro or a con. I thought long and hard about it and decided to give it it’s own heading.
Annie’s decisions. In the end, these were my biggest frustrations and it’s so hard to talk about without giving any details of the book away. My biggest thing is that Annie made so much progress on finding herself and what makes her HER and it just didn’t stick. I completely did NOT agree with her decisions. But the great thing about it was that it was thought provoking. I found myself thinking were the decisions she made realistic? To be honest, I would like to say they weren’t realistic at all– that people don’t actually make those same decisions. And that’s where I had to stop myself. I came to the realization that those same decisions are made every day by women in her same situation and its unfortunate because I felt like Annie definitely made the wrong decision. BUT, who am I to say or to judge?
The book was seriously AMAZING! Check it out and share your thoughts with me!
Top international reviews
People should write at least one book to see.
Chick litt summer read
I didn’t feel like I couldn’t put the book down
But nice read