In BLACK LAKE Johanna Lane accomplishes the nearly miraculous: she paints the world of her story with such care and skill that, before you know it, it will feel more real than your own. And you won't want to leave it. In Lane's hands the smallest details bloom with meaning, the quietest moments resonate with the power of truth. They make this novel big. It takes on the largest of themes, the thunder-clap moments of life, wresting from them a wisdom rare in any writing, and simply remarkable in a debut. Bit by gentle bit, this beautiful book will break your heart
I cannot tell you how moved I was by BLACK LAKE... It was so beautifully written. Again and again I was caught up by the precise but unpretentious prose. I believed this story because of the voice, the voices, the details, the familiar yet strange things of these people's lives... Lane conveys without any mawkishness the loss of this lovely place in the lives of this family, and the loss in all our lives of a childhood place wherever and whatever it was...
Johanna Lane's lovely novel is jeweled with shrewd insights into childhood and the way people relate to habitation and place. It's a book to admire and immerse yourself in
In this beautiful portrait of a family faced with unbearable loss, Lane reveals, not only what slips between the cracks in everyday communication, but also the secret loves and longings we all harbor, even if we never allow our hearts to speak, or our minds to dwell upon, what we need to say and hear, in order to continue as whole and undamaged spirits...a very, very good novel
A lush, beguiling beauty, like the Ireland of its setting. Novels like this one don't get written very often; when they do we remember why we love novels in the first place
'Beautifully written debut'
'Johanna Lane writes in an easy melodic style and she shows a real talent for understanding the separate sorrows and secret dreams that simmer beneath the surface of even the closest families'
'An elegantly written story'
'Lane's prose is graceful, textured and her elegant style reflects the Campbells' glazed retrograde world'
'What won me over was the touching depiction of the two children'
'A beautifully atmospheric and poignant debut'
'I found I could not put this book down'
This ultimately becomes a story of the importance of home, whatever its history, told in highly lyrical prose'
'A poignant and haunting tale that really resonates'
'A haunting debut'