Misfits need a place to get away, too. All that trying to fit in is exhausting.

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How do I start a review of a book that I literally could not put down? I picked it up on a Sunday afternoon and sat it back down on Sunday evening, feeling at once refreshed and sad that a story that had so captured me ended so suddenly.

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Lost Lakeby Sarah Addison Allen, is the story of so many strong women looking to make their own way in a world that is constantly keeping them down. It is the story of grief and loss and of coming home, both physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is the story of a daughter who hasn’t been tricked, the story of a man who hasn’t given up. It is the story of forgiveness and a belief in magic.

Magic is what we invent when we want something we think we can’t have.

Lost Lake can be found in Suley, Georgia, a lake surrounded by old, run down cottages. It becomes the perfect place for the widowed Kate and her daughter, Devin, to find themselves again. But the cottages are run down, and not what the town seems to want anymore, so Kate’s Aunt Eby is selling. It’s going to be their last summer at Lost Lake, the last summer for Bullahdeen, the literature professor who is ready to fight, for Selma, the woman with the charms to have any man she wants, Jack, the quiet man who is in love with Lost Lake’s beautiful, but still caught in the past that she can’t forget, cook, Lisette, and finally Wes, the man who has been waiting, and who can’t seem to move on.

Every single one of these characters captures you, surprises you. They are the type of characters that you want to sit down and have coffee with because you know that their story is so unique, so real, that you can’t have it all in one book. It’s the type of book that makes you feel sorry for the characters, but lets you in just in time to see that the happy ending they thought they could never have is just around the corner.

Thoughts of this book have been percolating for days, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to capture the feelings that I had as I was read it. It’s impossible. I had too many feelings. But, I can tell you that reading this book, picking this book up and delving into this world would not disappoint you. It will leave you feeling refreshed and hopeful, looking out for the next bend in the road where the world turns a little brighter.

You can’t change where you come from, but you can change where you go from here. Just like a book. If you don’t like the ending, you can make up a new one.

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