Jane Hudson left Heart Lake School for Girls twenty years ago, after the suicide of her two best friends and the boy of her dreams. Now she is back teaching the subject they all loved. When signs from her past start to pop up she starts to worry that the real story of what happened her senior year will come to light. When these events start to repeat herself Jane realizes that she may be in more danger than she ever thought possible, and that the lies she told twenty years ago were the reason for tragedy's beyond her wildest nightmares.
This isn't the first Carol Goodman novel I've read this year, and I partially blame reading The Lake of Dead Languages after Arcadia Falls for the mixed feelings I have about it. I really like boarding schools in literature, and for some reason Heart Lake didn't live up to what I thought it was going to be. Other than that I really liked the story, I enjoyed the deep connections that run throughout, leaving the reader the ability to look back and see all the connections. That being said, I wasn't overly surprised by anything in this book. Not just because her style and story are replicated in Arcadia Falls, but just because as a reader, you know.
I didn't really enjoy Jane Hudson as a main character. She was so caught up in the past that she had a hard time seeing her present, and while that's what moves the story forward, it gets pretty irritating after a while. Plus she's a little immature. There are several times when I stopped and thought "yeah, teachers shouldn't do this". Even though I didn't particularly like her, I was able to relate to her in a bit. That really did help.
Even with it's predictable nature I really did enjoy The Lade of Dead Languages. I liked all of the minor characters. Goodman's has a knack for descriptions. Her characters are unique and I really do love that. She's also good at finding that 'can't put it down' quality. The one thing I've found with all of her books is at about the 30 page mark I get serious. I want to finish the novel immediately and speed through it like no tomorrow.
All in all, I really did enjoy The Lake of Dead Languages. It's the kind of story that will stay with me for a while and I'm happy I finally got around to reading this.
In case you're interested, I reviewed both Arcadia Falls and The Seduction of the Water earlier this year.