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The Lake of Dead Languages
The Lake of Dead Languages
Author: Carol Goodman
In the evocative tradition of Donna Tartt’s first novel, The Secret History, comes this accomplished debut of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins. Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakes...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780345487155
ISBN-10: 034548715X
Publication Date: 12/27/2005
Pages: 432
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 67 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 3
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
Predictable mystery by an author who desperately needs an editor.
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
The Lake of Dead Languages is a fluffy, thriller that weaves the present and the past in a way that tells two stories simultaneously, but still manages to make the reader feel like it is one, comprehensive tale. The main character, Jane Hudson is a Latin teacher at a private school, Heart Lake School for Girls, who is struggling to deal with suicide of three of her friends, which happened while she was a student at the same school more than 20 years earlier. When the events that happened while she was a student begin repeating themselves, Jane cant help but get wrapped up in trying to solve the mystery that surrounds the past and the present. The book is about Jane trying to discover what really happened 20 years ago, as well as protect herself, her students, and her daughter from becoming victim to the same terrifying end as her childhood friends.

Carol Goodwin does a good job of switching between the two time periods, particularly when it involves Jane reflecting upon what she wrote in the diary she kept while a student at Heart Lake. The novel itself is well-written, so it is easy for the reader to stay engaged.

There are, however, two main problems with the novelthe length and the ending. The story begins to move slowly and become repetitive, and it is not difficult to determine that there is more going on at the school than just suicides, but it is not until page 356 that Goodwin actually reveals what the reader likely already knows. To make matters worse, the final 30 pages after the revelation focus on neatly tying the story up into a pretty package. The last chapter, in particular, feels forced, rushed, and out of place.

Overall, the book is an easy, enjoyable read, but not terribly suspenseful. If youre looking for something to entertain you, you could do worse, but at the same time, its not a novel that you need to rush out and get.
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This book was loaded with mystery. It was a bit wordy and could have been shortened a little. It wasnt bad though.
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is the first I've read by this author and I definitely enjoyed it. It is primarily a plot driven book but does intimately explore and expand the characters, even though I wouldn't say they show enough growth to give anything but a nod to character development. It had very interesting flashback perspectives to events of twenty years before. I became impatient toward the end when the main character kept overlooking increasingly obvious conclusions about the villain. The author switched occasionally between first and third person, sometimes effectively and sometimes awkwardly. All in all, a solid read in which I found myself quite immersed.
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I enjoyed this book..However I felt the beginning of the book was slow and hard to get into for me. I felt like it was being drawn out with alot of filler to take up page space. Once the mysteries start coming to light and drawing together however the books seems to flow at a much better pace. I'd recommend this book to people who want something a little different than the average thriller. I will try other books by this author.
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reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 1389 more book reviews
Wow, this was a super great read. The suspense started at the begining and kept right on going. The characters are well developed and you really become involved in their lives. Don't let the title fool you, this is a great read!
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 205 more book reviews
At first I was turned off by the darkness and the goddess-rite sort of stuff going on, but once I got into the characters it wasn't too bad. By the time I got halfway through, I didn't want to put it down! Enjoyable and was fun to figure out all the different plot twists. Not as difficult as a J. Picoult, but very engaging! First book I've read by this author and I plan to read more.
reviewed The Lake of Dead Languages on + 8 more book reviews
Great drama, an edge-of-your-seat thriller.