Old wrongs are righted for a motley community of Southerners in this latest, semienchanted novel by Allen (The Peach Keeper, 2011, etc.).
A year after her husband dies, Kate Pheris wakes up. She was still functioning for that year, still caring for her 8-year-old daughter, Devin, but she was not herself. Shedding her year of slumber, Kate realizes that she has allowed her calculating mother-in-law to take over her and Devin’s lives—not a good thing for two free spirits—so they flee to Lost Lake in rural Georgia, the place Kate had her “last best summer” when she was 12. Lost Lake is owned by Kate’s great-aunt Eby, one of the few women wise enough to escape their family curse: marrying poor men then falling apart completely when the men die young. Eby lived a long, happy life running the modest resort with her husband, George, but George passed away, and now Eby plans to sell the property and move on, much to the chagrin of her few remaining regulars and her best friend and resort cook, Lisette. All gather to celebrate one last summer with Eby, secretly hoping to convince her not to sell. Along the way, we get back stories of the patrons: Bulahdeen, old and plainspoken; Selma, the man-eater looking for her eighth husband; Jack, who is in love with Lisette; and Wes, the boy Kate spent her last best summer with, now grown. Tragic pasts abound—the body count alone is impressive—and each lakegoer is haunted to a different extent. It's clear from the beginning that healing is on the horizon for everyone.
Light, sweet and sparkly.