Cover Image: Cormorant Lake

Cormorant Lake

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Member Reviews

This book was exceptional. Dark & twisty but discussed themes such as motherhood and community in such an interesting and unique way. I can’t believe this book was just over 200 pages because it was so rich in content. I loved that it had a “jigsaw puzzle” feel to the story and the author made you think and attempt to work a few of pieces out yourself. It was very literary in its themes but also had a well rounded storyline. Overall, highly recommend this one! Thank you @netgalley for my review copy :)
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I really enjoyed the premises of this one - something totally different than I've read before. The book follows Evelyn, who abducts the children of her roommate and brings them home to her hometown of Cormorant Lake, where she hasn't been in 14 years. She shows up at her foster mother's house, who thinks the children are hers.

Given the plot, I was into it right away, but the story itself I wasn't as gripped as I hoped I would be, but I liked the author's writing and I'll be sure to watch out for more of her books in the future.
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Unsettling! This book made me think about friendships, motherhood, womanhood, who is more important - the mother that gives you birth or the mother who brings you up and molds you into a full human being? It also mixes present and past and real times with magic. It´s left me flabbergasted, wanting to reach the end to learn how would everything mix together and end. It´s a lovely reading, entertaining, full of mystery and food for thought.
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3.5 ⭐️Thank you Netgalley and publisher for ARC. This was a mixed bag for me. I loved the themes of women doing the best they can despite hardship both financial and emotionally, and the strength and maternal instincts of the two main characters, as well as the guilt that the three main characters suffered from. The setting also added to the story. But this book was also a little out there for me and the plot ultimately didn’t really seem to go anywhere
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The premise of the book made me interested to read this and it sounds all mysterious. Evelyn Van Pelt abducts the two underfed and neglected little girls of her roommate and brings them to her hometown in Cormorant Lake. She has not been home for fourteen years and when she shows up to her foster mother house with two kids in tow, she suddenly has to  reconcile  with her guilt, responsibilities of parenthood, her coming to terms with her independence and the sudden presence of her biological mother.  Evelyn faces and confronts the secrets that her family tries to bury a long time ago.


The book deals with the intricacies of one’s relationship with mothers, the imperfections and and all its complications.  I like the atmospheric and the mysterious vibes it gives. Though I find that the story slowed after a very interesting start.  I was more than half into the book and waiting for something to happen. The ending also leaves me with more questions. 


Thank you for NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for advanced e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Pub date: February 2, 2021
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Faith Merino is a truly skilled writer that has the ability to conjure vivid imagery. Her debut novel certainly had several "things that make you go hmmm...", but it was compelling and moved along at a rather fast clip. The story and setting were melancholy and somewhat dark as the deeply flawed characters were put in unforeseen situations. Their impulsiveness constantly kept me guessing about what would happen next.

I'll admit, I struggled with several decisions made by the individuals, but at the same time, there was the understanding that this was all they knew. That knowledge allowed for some grace.

Overall, this was a solid debut that will hit the shelves February 2nd.

Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for gifting me with this early review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Evelyn thinks she's doing the right thing when she takes Mora and Lila from their mother Erin and flees home to Cormorant Lake.  This is a novel about motherhood and obligation with a dose of magical realism and secrets.  Evelyn's mother Juba didn't really raise her- just left her to roam free which might sound good but doesn't.  She was taken in by Nan, who pit structure in her life. Now, though, Nan is talking to a ghost, Juba is back in town, and Evelyn is imagining that Erin is making odd things happen.  It's a hard plot to describe but an engaging one.  You will definitely find yourself judging these women, who are well drawn but not wholly sympathetic.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.   A nice debut and a worthy read.
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I feel like I say this about every book, but I really loved this book!

The entire book had this air of love but there's something almost melancholy just in the background.

It raises questions about justice and morality and shows so many variations of motherhood. The common running theme is love without boundries and acceptance. The family dynamics are well explored and flawless.

The writing is lyrical and cohesive. Merino has an excellent talent for conveying imagery to the reader, every scene in this book I could see clearly in my own head.

This book really lends itself to escapism. A chance to leave behind this world and know the characters in Cormorant Lake.

A really great 5 star read that I know I'll definitely be reading again.

Thank you Faith Merino, Blackstone publishing and Netgalley for an eArc of this book in exchange for review.
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Evelyn steals her roommate's daughters one night and takes them to her hometown, Cormorant Lake. While she's acting like the mother of the two girls, she also manages to reconnect with her biological mother, Jubilee and her foster mother, Nan. 

This book covers a lot of topics especially family, motherhood, and a mother/daughter relationship. We really got to know Nan, although I do wish we got to know Jubilee a little bit more. Overall, the relationships and the characters were pretty solid.

I didn't expect this book to me so mystical, but I enjoyed that aspect of the story. I personally didn't really like the ending, but I will say that it did go very well with the magical/mysterious atmosphere going on during the entire book. The author was really consistent with that!

I was surprised to find out that this was the author's debut novel. I will definitely be on the look out for the next book Faith Merino comes out with because I enjoyed the writing. If you're a fan of Brit Bennett's books, I recommend giving this one a shot as it gave me similar vibes!
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Thanks NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing and Faith Merino for an ARC to review. 
Honestly I'm too awed right now to talk about this book! Seriously  just wow!
I finished it in one sitting, it's past midnight now.
Excellent, different than anything I've ever read before!
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“𝙄 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙢𝙮 𝙜𝙞𝙧𝙡𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙧𝙤𝙬 𝙪𝙥 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩,” 𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙮𝙣 𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙙.

𝙉𝙖𝙣 𝙡𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙩 𝙝𝙚𝙧, 𝙖 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙥 𝙚𝙙𝙜𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙚, 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙚’𝙙 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙞𝙖𝙧.

𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙡𝙮𝙣 𝙨𝙖𝙞𝙙, “𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮’𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙚.”

When Evelyn Van Pelt decides to abduct her roommate’s little girls from California, it is a rescue mission and one that forces her to return to Cormorant Lake and Nan, a place she fled years ago. This time, she plans to hunker down in the mountain and protect the love starved children who will now be her own. “Nan liked stories about defiant women”, surely she would understand this fight for survival. It started with the little girls’ neglectful mother and her vanishing acts. Evelyn knows all too well about bottomless hunger and unfit mothers, there is not a chance she can ignore the dangers Lila and Mora are drowning in even if it means giving up her freedom. Jube, Evelyn’s own mother, had raised her to wander and fend for herself, until Nan came along and fostered her. What is a mother really? Is mothering in the blood or the heart? This isn’t something Evelyn dreamed of, never having much experience with nurturing, a lonely child with little expectations until Nan came long, but in the girls’ she sees something of herself, a fierce love is born.

With winter settling in around Cormorant Lake, the protection of the mountains and the land could serve as the perfect place to hide and defend them, but against who or what? Unquestionably the little girls’ mother will come looking for them, all mother’s fight for what is their own don’t they? What if people start asking questions, prying into their business? Even Nan is aware of the threat, having been subject to meddling locals all her life. Too, Evelyn must confront Jubliee, with the way news travels. Evelyn’s mother Jubilee is the same as always despite years of wear and tear. Everyone has a history, is it possible Jube didn’t know better, that she herself wasn’t mothered either? Ever present is the lake itself and it’s peculiar tragedy involving a derailed train haunting the place still. Something seems to exist alongside the natural world, a sort of veil that Nan senses. All these things are merging, much bigger than Evelyn’s struggles, but the past is crackling to life with her return.

Nan is often between then and now, seeing things that remind her of the betrayal she is responsible for, a terrible thing that can never be undone, no matter how long she lives. It is about friendship and the heart’s poor choices. Her tale is full of sorrow and the pain of never being able to make amends. Atmospheric and haunting, Cormorant Lake is about the wreckage of mothers, shame and regrets that shadow our choices. It is the things that pulse in unseen places and what caring for others asks us to sacrifice. Yes, read it!

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

Blackstone Publishing
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I received this from Netgalley.com.

"On a cold November night, Evelyn Van Pelt steals her roommate’s two underfed and neglected little girls from their beds and drives to the northwestern hometown she fled fourteen years earlier—Cormorant Lake."

I was very interested in reading this based on the blurb. It started out strong but lost steam mid-way and didn't really recover its ground. Overall, an okay read.

2.75☆
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Boy oh boy this is one impressive debut! 
I obviously find it highly relatable being a mother myself which always makes books easier to read when you can relate. But the writing is gripping, vivid and humourous in parts (especially the Nan who is definitely my favourite character) which compels you to read on. I love the natural and mystical elements weaved into the book. I'll be waiting to get my hands on a hard copy when this is released! Thanks to Blackstone Publishers, Netgalley & Faith Merino for the ARC.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for offering me a chance to read Cormorant Lake. This book has been compared to the works of the great Brit Bennet, and while I enjoyed the story and writing style, I do not find that a fair assessment as I found the story telling a bit more dry the other works dealing with past relationship and tragedy. The story starts with Evelyn, who "steals her roommate’s two underfed and neglected little girls from their beds and drives to the northwestern hometown she fled fourteen years earlier—Cormorant Lake." As the story unravels, you learn more about Evelyn's past and the tragedy that haunts her life. Overall, a strong novel just a little slow paced for my taste.
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Cormorant Lake blew me away. I was instantly sucked in and read it in less than 24 hours. 
It is disturbing and beautiful at the same time. Evelyn kidnaps two small girls and acts as their mother. Is it really that bad what she did? The girls were in horrible condition to begin with. Evelyn only did what was best for the girls. 
She takes the girls to Cormorant Lake which is where she was raised and her problems began, she was adopted herself and through connecting with her adoptive and biological mother she sees what it means to be a mother. 

I love mother/daughter relationship books and this is one of the best I've ever read, such a fresh story line. I can not believe this is the authors debut novel. 

Thanks to Netgalley for my advanced ebook copy.
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4.5 stars. This book is a standout debut by Faith Merino. I could taste the descriptions, they were so vivid and felt so real. The characters are beautiful and I want to just wrap my arms around them and share a warm meal. This is a gritty and honest novel, and reminds me of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, or evening Kristin Hannah’s more recent work. For a debut author this is really mature work. *possible spoiler, not really*
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 My only issue is that the ending confused me, but that could be my own issue. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC!
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This is a mesmerizing, enthralling novel laden with atmospheric sense of place and a location that will stay in your mind long after the last chapter is read.

I dived into this book and let the written word wash over my soul. This is a woman's book, filled with family, friendship, love, jealously and secrets as deep as the waters of Cormorant Lake. There is also a touch of magical realism and the lure of nature with all that it can offer and all that it can take. Resilient women, strong women and the choices they make for the good of those they love abound throughout the story.

This is a beautiful book. Please don't miss it..
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Stunning debut, ideal for fans of Brit Bennett.

I'm always on the lookout for unusual and daring literature, so the descriprion of Cormorant Lake got me really hyped up. This novel is even better than I had imagined it would be, especially since it's a debut. Faith Merino is certainly a huge talent..

Cormorant Lake a haunting, beautfully written and very disturbing account of a woman named Evelyn who decides to kidnap two small girls in order to act as a mother herself. Her startling crime was a really odd experience to me because as a reader, I was shocke,d but also ended up rooting for Evelyn because while what she did was wrong, she did it in good faith - the girls had been in a bad physical condition.

The place she takes them to is a highly symbolic element because it's where Evelyn got her problematic upbringing. In the course of the novel, she reconnects with her adoptive and biological mothers, meanwhile exploring what it even means to be a mother.. And this is just the beginning,

Overall, I was totally mesmerised by the exploration of good/bad motherhood and what it means to be a family, as well as by Merino's writing style. With all its elements, I think especially fans of Brit Bennett will really enjoy this one.

*Thank you to the Publisher for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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