LAKE OF SECRETS by Lael Littke


Age Range: 12 - 15
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Past lives, small-town secrets, and the unsolved disappearance of a four-year-old all come together in Littke’s readable, but uneven novel. Fifteen-year-old Carlene and her mother have returned to the small town where Carlene’s little brother disappeared 18 years earlier. Although Keith vanished before Carlene was born, she has lived with the consequences of the tragedy: her mother’s bottomless grief and the resulting breakup of the marriage and loss of her father. The discovery of a child’s clothing in an old mine brings her mother back to the scene of the crime and she is driven to find out what happened to her son once and for all. The town seems to be caught in a time warp: the same people are there, doing the same things they were doing at the time of the tragedy. Almost immediately, Carlene begins “remembering” events that happened in the town, things she clearly could not have been privy to. She begins to think she may be experiencing memories from a past life that somehow link her to Keith’s disappearance. While this plot line has the potential to be hokey, Littke pulls it off until the final chapters, when a past-life regression goes bad and the events surrounding Keith’s vanishing and subsequent death are replayed with the same key players involved all over again. Until then, the story was fairly believable. The handful of main characters are well developed, the small town has just enough eccentrics to keep things interesting, and Carlene is a well-rounded, typical teenager, alternately despising her mother for making her leave her friends and feeling sorry for the immense loss to their family. Only partly successful. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-8050-6730-2
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2002


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