Tuesday, March 13, 2018

My TBR List Review: On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah

On Mystic Lake was my to be read list pick for January 2018 and also is a part of my 5 year Deal Me In/ Fill in the Gaps Challenge.

Book: On Mystic Lake
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publication: March 1999
Source: Own
Read: March 3-8, 2018
Summary (from Goodreads):
Annie Colwater’s husband has just confessed that he’s in love with a younger woman. Devastated, Annie retreats to the small town where she grew up. There, she is reunited with her first love, Nick Delacroix, a recent widower who is unable to cope with his silent, emotionally scarred young daughter. Together, the three of them begin to heal. But just when Annie believes she’s been given a second chance at happiness, her world is turned upside down again, and she is forced to make a choice that no woman in love should ever have to make.

My Thoughts: 

I never seem to be able to find the right words to describe my feelings after reading a Kristin Hannah novel. This novel had me intrigued quickly and had me actively involved with the characters from the very beginning. I fell in love with this novel and it was a book that was hard to put down. 

This story is about Annie Colwater who has what she thinks is the perfect life. She has a 17 year old daughter Natalie and her husband Blake, who is a well known laywer. She has spent her life loving Blake, and taking care of him and her daughter. She has been happy with the life she has led as a housewife and a mother. Natalie is off on a 3 month journey to London. After dropping her off at the airport Blake confesses that he is in love with somebody else and he wants to get a divorce. Annie is devestated and truly she didn't see this coming. She heads back to her hometown of Mystic, Washington to spend time with her dad and find herself. This is where she reunites with an old friend, Nick Delacroix, who has recently lost his wife and is struggling to find his way through his grief. 

I think Annie's progression in this novel seemed pretty natural. She started out completely lost with no idea how to be a single woman after 20 years of marriage. She also wasn't really sure she knew who she was when she didn't have somebody to take care of. I think her finding out about Kathy and finding Nick again was the main focus of this story and my favorite part of this entire book. Their first meeting it was hard to see where their story would go after that. Then Annie began to take care of Izzy and I fell in love with how caring she was for this little girl, who was so deeply broken and grieving after the loss of her mother and in some ways the father she knew also. Annie ended being such a healing force for both Izzy and Nick. She changed them in incredible ways. She brought them closer as a family. 

In this journey Annie found herself. She found the person she was meant to be. She found a way to be truly happy and she realized that in her previous life she was more worried about everybody else and never took anytime for herself. I loved Nick and Annie's realationship. I loved the time they spent together. I loved every second of watching Nick become the father he was meant to be and overcoming being an achololic. I think Nick has regrets in his life, but the choices that he made as a teenager were the choices he felt like he needed to make. In the end Nick told Annie that "Love matters. Maybe it's the only thing that does." Despite what happened later in the novel the love that Annie and Nick shared healed them both. 

Just when everything seemed to be settling in to place for Annie, it is time for Natalie to come home. Despite how much Annie wants to stay in Mystic. She promised her husband that they would make a decision when Natalie returned home, but Annie finds out some shocking news that makes her decision even more difficult to make. Natalie comes back and in Annie's words is more grown up than she has ever seen her and she is looking at her mom and dad's marriage differently. She figured out how much her dad doesn't know about her while she was away in London and it has given her new insight that she doesn't truly know her father because he is never home and when he is he has no idea how to talk to his daughter and no idea how to treat her mother. Annie is commited to being a family. That is all she has ever wanted is a family, but after he summer in Mystic she is realized that the man she truly loves doesn't live in Southern California. 

Annie realizes so many things about herself in the novel and for once in her life she decides to put herself first. I loved that the book ended on a happy note the way I wanted it to end, but I do wish that she would have given us just a few more pages about what Annie's new life looks like. I loved On Mystic Lake. I think it was a great book and I highly recommend this book as I do many Kristin Hannah books. 

My well loved copy of On Mystic Lake I bought at a library book sale. I have to say I like the new cover a lot better than this edition. 

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