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review 2016-10-30 04:22
Book Review: The Lake of Dead Languages
The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman

Book: The Lake of Dead Languages


Author: Carol Goodman


Genre: Fiction/School Life/Reconciliation/Friendship


Summary (from back of Ballantine Books edition): Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled from the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy. The week before her graduation, in that sheltered wonderland, three people died, all victims of suicide. Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden in the depths of Heart Lake for more than two decades. Now, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter, Jane has returned to the school as a Latin teacher. But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories. And young, troubled girls are beginning to die again-as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface. -Ballantine Books, 2002.


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text 2014-09-03 00:10
September #BookADayUK Day 2 - Favorite book set in a school
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling,Mary GrandPré
Prep School Confidential - Kara Taylor
Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins
Shadow Kiss - Richelle Mead
The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman

This is one of those topics for the day where part of me wants to say "Do you really have to ask?"  *winks*


But I'll bite - I have a few books I really enjoyed set in schools, magical and otherwise.




I'll name six off the top of my head.  The first one probably shouldn't surprise anyone - I loved the Harry Potter series (even if I haven't read the last book because I was spoiled silly when it first came out  *cough*).   J.K. Rowling is love, enough said.


Kara Taylor's "Prep School Confidential" seriously impressed me as a YA work, and it remains among my all time favorite books (and series!). I love the overarching mystery, the feisty heroine, and just how hilarious it was between the guesswork I had through the narrative's events.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins still remains one of my favorite narratives written not just in a school, but a school set overseas.  I felt like it worked the environmental details and the characterizations so well.  And it was full of good humor and sweet moments despite some caveats.


Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead both are choices I would make for paranormal school stories that had a combination of humor and harrowing events, with a strong cast of characters.


Lastly, a favorite of mine since I was in high school, "The Lake of Dead Languages" by Carol Goodman was a gothic school story I really enjoyed not only for its attention to Latin, but the mystery surrounding the old boarding school and its student body.  I think that was the book that first introduced me to Carol Goodman.


I think that's all for today's entry.  Looking forward to tomorrow's prompt!

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review 2014-07-05 00:44
The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman
The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman
  I loved this. I was pulled in from the beginning and the story would not let me go. I wanted to know who was the murderer and why. I suspected that one person was involved from the beginning but I did not know how. I was surprised how that person was involved and why. I liked this cast of characters. I especially liked how the girls from the 70's paralleled the girls from the 90's. I liked the feeling of foreboding and suspense that ran throughout the story. The author brought me into her world and made it believable.


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review 2014-06-04 00:59
Review | The Lake of Dead Languages, Carol Goodman | 4 Stars
The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman

I decided to read The Lake of Dead Languages for two reasons: some book blog compared it to The Secret History and I found a gently loved copy of it at the Strand over spring break. I had a feeling I would like this so I decided to save it as a reward for getting through something more difficult.


Annnnd I read the whole thing on an eight-hour bus trip.


The Lake of Dead  Languages is the kind of book you fly through. We’ve talked a lot in Geronimo’s class about ‘the secrecy plot’ – i.e., a story that all leads up to the revelation of some (usually dark and devastating) secret. And, in critiquing a lot of people’s first few chapters, we’ve discovered that it’s a lot harder to do than it might sound. How much information do you share? How much do you withhold? Can the main character keep secrets from the reader? Etc. Well, I don’t know what the perfect formula is, but Carol Goodman’s figured it out. The Lake of Dead Languages flows like the Nile – smoothly and swiftly, and sometimes in totally unexpected directions. When everything finally starts to fit together, it just feels good. Not many novels achieve that.


The Lake of Dead Languages tells the story of Heart Lake, a boarding school for girls with a deeply troubled history. In narrator Jane Hudson’s senior year, one of her roommates committed suicide and shortly afterward, her other roommate and that roommate’s brother drowned in the lake. When Jane returns to the school years later to teach Latin, her past starts to catch up with her, and things go horribly wrong. I won’t give away anything else, because is the kind of story you want to read for yourself.


There are so many good things: Goodman’s sense of place is so detailed and so specific that you can almost follow the path from the school to the lake to the icehouse without help from Jane or the other girls. Her characters are deeply troubled mysterious creatures, but never implausible. This is a profoundly intelligent, emotional book, a volatile story told with impeccable control.


But of course, it’s not perfect. We see all too clearly Jane’s unhealthy obsession with Matt and Lucy Toller, but we never get to know them as well as we’d like. Deirdre is much the same. We see all of the other character’s through Jane’ eyes, but in many instances her vision is limited. I said before that the story flows like a river – and so it does. It’s effortless to read. One sentence leads you seamlessly into the next. For the most part, it’s a lovely effect. But there aren’t any sentences which are lyrically arresting (and I think as a writer that Goodman is certainly capable of that, she just needs to take a few more risks).


Overall, an excellent read which I will certainly be returning to. (Of course, it’s worth mentioning that modern Gothic novels with a classical twist are like my personal catnip.)


Four of five stars.


Find is on Goodreads here.

Source: inkedoutloud.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/review-the-lake-of-dead-languages-4-stars
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text 2013-10-13 18:26
30 Day Book Challenge Day 13: Favorite Writers
The Piper's Son - Melina Marchetta
Partials - Dan Wells
Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems - Billy Collins
The Collected Poems - Langston Hughes
The Lake of Dead Languages - Carol Goodman
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
The Spirit Window - Joyce Sweeney
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury



Day 13 of this respective 30 Day Book Challenge - we're almost halfway through!  It's asking me my favorite writer(s) and I had a difficult time choosing one, so I'll just list several that I really enjoy and have read multiple books from.  When I think writer - I think of both prose and poetry, so there's quite a spectrum to be had here.  You can find my list, in random order, under the cut.


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