Cover Image: Ladies of the Lake

Ladies of the Lake

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Member Reviews

Such a gripping story! I had the privilege of listening to the audio version of this story, and I loved it. 
Two storylines, both intriguing. This is a story of four girls, from their boarding school days at Lakeside Ladies Academy for girls, during the beginning of WWI, to their lives as older women in the 1930s. 
These girls went from being unseparable friends, to estranged, and the author takes her good old time showing what all went wrong. 
Deep, rich relationships, historical war drama, and a hint of mystery woven in, along with much, much more. 
This story was one that kept my attention from the first to the very last.
Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Cathy Gohlke's Ladies of the Lake is one of the best books I've read in a long time!  In this Split Time Novel, set both in Canada and the US, tells the story of 4 dear friends who met at school and as they grow into women their friendship is almost ruined forever due to decades long secrets.  I love the Anne of Green Gables feel that the book had.  Ms. Gohlke is such a good writer the way she weaves each of the character storylines  and puts twists and turns in to keep the the reader pleasantly surprised.  Ladies of the Lake has become one of my favorite books of all time.  Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book.  I highly recommend it!  My review is also on on Goodreads.
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This was a wonderful story with overtones from L. M. Montgomery describing the friendship of 4 young women at a Ladies' Academy. They were not all from the same social status, but we're still best of friends. 
Upon graduation they resolved to gather at the school periodically to renew their friendships but due to circumstances that arose during one eventful weekend, the gatherings only ever compromised three of the four friends. Details of what happened make this a very compelling story
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The cover held brilliant colors and a joy that popped right off the image. Those things made this a must-read for me. I was a little disappointed to see that only two of the four friends were POV characters. I had assumed from the cover that all four ladies would be featured strongly in that fashion.

I was looking for a solid story that focused on friendship, and in that, I was not disappointed. Friendship, with all its ups and downs, was beautifully on display. The good, the bad, and the ugly of friendship were all written exquisitely. It was neat to see the author’s take on jealousy and cruelty within friendship but also the theme of being cherished by one’s friends. This story truly was an ode to friendship.

The theme of forgiving oneself was so poignant and very timely for me in this season of my life. This aspect, perhaps, resonated the most and will likely linger the longest in my memory. Yet there were other beautiful themes, such as overcoming fear and trusting God with the future.

It was incredible to read a story that featured the Halifax Explosion. I had not heard of this event until I chatted with the author via email about this book. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. This story felt like a dose of history wrapped in an imagination-hooking story, and the author’s note at the end provided even more information.

This author keeps me coming back for more with her stories because the attention to detail is exquisite. Ladies of the Lake is no exception, and the masterful twist in the finale completely blew me away. Such a job well done!

Another disappointment was the lack of a faith thread in the first half of the book. Even in the second half, the faith thread was lighter than expected. I would have loved to see a stronger thread of faith woven throughout the plot, as it would have enhanced the story even more. That being said, I was still totally hooked by this WWI-home front story that featured white feathers and friendship and nods to L.M. Montgomery’s Anne-with-an-E. 

The sorrow, tragedy, torn friendships, and redemption found in this story created a deeply emotional story that I can easily highly recommend.

Content: suicide, bullying
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Four girls form fast and deep friendships at a Connecticut girls' school just before WWI, but then in the early years of adulthood, differences about love and war cause rifts. Jump ahead 17 years and three of the women believe their dear friend Addie died in the infamous Halifax explosion and one of the friends is burdened with guilt over a letter she never delivered. Although I knew the ending long before I got there, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to any fans of Anne of Green Gables (You will learn the connection when you read the book!) Ladies of the Lake is a charming story of forgiveness and second chances set against the background of WWI and the Depression. I received a copy from Net Galley. All opinions are mine.
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Being an Anne of Green Gables fan I like to read all books that mention Prince Edward Island and LM Montgomery. This was a sweet tale about forever friendships and the petty jealousies that can unravel them. Two of the Ladies of the Lake love the same man and a horrible twist of fate one day in Halifax changes the trajectory of both their lives.
I am not religious but the Christian parts of the novel are not overwhelming and the story is so pure and interesting. Don’t hold off reading this if you worry about the religious content. The Halifax Explosion is a piece of history I have not heard of. Cathy Gohlke wrote about it so respectfully and thoroughly. This is a book about female friendship and strength and the ability of women to accomplish much.
Gentle, lovely and left me feeling happy and joyful. Thanks Netgalley for the ARC.
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Four young girls meet and bond at the Lakeside Ladies Academy. Upon graduation, they determine to meet every year at the gazebo, but then World War II happens and tragedy ensues. Years later, circumstances contrive to cause them to meet again. Can their friendship endure the missing years and miscommunications?

I enjoyed this book and the aspect of friendship that it explored. Pettiness and jealousy caused a breakdown in friendships in the story and it can so easily happen in real life as well and am I willing to do my part to maintain solid friendships?

I enjoyed the book, I would like to read it again sometime knowing the ending because I was surprised a bit by how it turned out. I thought I knew what had happened, but I was wrong. I also enjoyed hearing about the explosion in Halifax, something I had never heard about before. 

I received this book from Tyndale via NetGalley and was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.
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This. Book. Is. Amazing!!

Hands-down one of my favorite reads of 2023. Fans of Rachel Hauck's "The Best Summer of Our Lives" will also enjoy this one (as will basically everyone else, lol, but yanno)--also L.M. Montgomery/_Anne of Green Gables_ (both books and Kevin Sullivan's movie series) fans. So many events in _Ladies of the Lake_ made me channel the Anne movies, in the best way--like Captain America's "I understood that reference" line on repeat!

Twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end; it was truly amazing how many events could still happen even during the denouement, some making me want to start over and re-read with that new info in mind.

I've been ruminating lately on the things we do for those we love (and how some things are easier for me to do, let alone accept, than others)--and this had so many amazing examples of that. War and related events wreak all sorts of havoc in every sense, some more visibly than others--and yet, it can be so hard to extend grace to ourselves, or accept what we're so quick to extend to others. Many of the book's lessons/examples in that vein will stay with me for some time to come. A wonderful, powerful read.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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I can now understand what all of the hype surrounding this book was about! Bs aide I found it difficult to put down!
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I’m a great fan of Cathy Gohlke’s writing. I enjoy the way she combines a compelling inspirational story with a background of interesting slices of history. Ladies of the Lake is a fantastic example of this. Set mainly in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Connecticut in dual timelines of the early 1900s and 1935, this book follows the lives of four friends from the Lakeside Ladies Academy as they transition to adulthood and life takes them in different directions. Amid heartache, WWI, the Halifax explosion of 1917, and secrets kept, can their friendship mend and endure?

“And how can I hope to be forgiven if I don’t forgive?”

With themes of friendship, forgiveness, love, and family, this riveting tale kept me intrigued and turning pages to find out what was going to happen. I was impressed with the way the author seamlessly pulled the dual timelines together so it wasn’t jarring to switch back and forth. The historical and faith elements were organically and skillfully woven in. Beautifully written and poignant, this story illustrated again why Cathy Gohlke is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. I would recommend this to those who enjoy exceptional inspirational historical fiction. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Tyndale House Publishing through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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A heartfelt story about the power of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. The Ladies of the Lake had so many Anne of Green Gables moments. I really liked the homage to that story. This book was written through the eyes of Addie and Dorothy--two bosom friends from the moment they met when Addie was 12 and sent to a ladies academy in Connecticut upon the death of her parents. I loved their group of four girls and how they bonded through their time at the academy. The Raven episode with the mean girl was so Anne Shirley it cracked me up. 

It was sad to see how the prejudices at the cusp of WW1 regarding German Americans played heavily into the story. And I had never even heard of a Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917. What a HORRIBLE tragic event. I'm going to be exploring that futher on my own. 

The book comes full circle over a course of 50'ish years and it was just a solid story. I didn't love it as much as other books by this author, but it was still a solid and interesting story.

4 stars.
**I was given an ARC of this book by the publisher and not required to write a positive review. All opinions are 100% md!
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Wow! I absolutely loved this book! The last third of this book had me crying, and that doesn’t happen often for me in a book. This fantastic dual timeline Christian historical fiction had me hooked right from the first chapter. With strong themes of enduring friendship, family, grief, redemption and forgiveness, this book takes you on a journey with characters that show what true friendship looks like.

Adelaide Rose MacNeill was orphaned at 11 years old when her mother and father were killed while on a ferry between the mainland and Prince Edward Island where they lived. Adelaide became the responsibility of her half brother Lemuel who sent her immediately to a boarding school in Connecticut called Lakeside Ladies Academy. On her way to the Academy Adelaide connects with an elderly lady while travelling by ship, Mrs. Simmons, who becomes like a grandmother to her. Mrs. Simmons prays for Adelaide and encourages her to keep in touch when she gets to her school. 

Once at Lakeside Ladies Academy, Adelaide is treated harshly by an upper year student. Adelaide forms a camaraderie with the three young ladies (Ruth, Dorothy and Susannah) whom she shares a room with who have also endured bullying from this student and together they form a pact to be friends who will stand up for each other and be friends for life. “We the Ladies of the Lake, will always stand for one another, no matter what, come what may - sisters to the last.” This group of young ladies go through many events together that test their love and friendship for each other and show how forgiveness can be possible.

The timeline of this book takes place around the time of World War I and then in 1935. With Adeladie being from the East Coast in Canada, the author ties in the Halifax Harbour explosion and takes the reader on an emotional journey on what happened to Adelaide, Dorothy, Ruth and Susannah during these two points of time in history, particularly focusing on Adelaide and Dorothy. The author did a fantastic job of weaving the two timelines together to create a compelling story that had a shocking twist at the end.

I gave this book a five star review, and would definitely recommend it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Ladies of the Lake by Cathy Gohlke

This split-time novel centers on four young ladies who attend the prestigious Lakeside Ladies Academy in the years up to 1910.  As we learn of their adventures at the school, we fast forward to the present where they have graduated and made their way into the world. 

This story dwells on second chances, forgiveness, and enduring friendships.  It is well-written and easy to get lost in.  The author skillfully weaves the story line between the past and present and even manages a rather surprising plot twist that had me rereading to see what pertinent clues I had missed.

Readers who enjoy women’s fiction, split-time stories and happy endings will find much to like in this novel, as I did.  I recommend this novel and am grateful to the publisher for this arc in exchange for this, my honest review.
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Travel through time from school friendships along to later lives. A deep engaging novel and great to read. Well worth 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this ARC.
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4.5 Stars 

Ladies of the Lake is a poignant and engaging historical fiction story of lifelong friendships.

When eleven-year-old Adelaide’s parents die, her older brother (and now guardian) sends her to Lakeside Ladies Academy in Connecticut. Even though she’s lonely and distraught, she makes friends with three girls and they refer to themselves as “ladies of the lake.” One tragedy (an actual historical event), one boy, and one war later, Adelaide is now Rosaline, a popular author. Her daughter is about to graduate from Lakeside Ladies Academy and Rosaline is invited to attend. But is Rosaline ready to return to the place of so many memories, face her past, and reconnect with the friends she has abandoned?

At the heart of this story is a lifelong friendship/bond between four girls who meet at boarding school where they endured loneliness, confronted bullies, and competed for a boy. What started out as a pact to reunite every two years after graduation fell by the wayside as Adelaide/Rosaline returned to Prince Edward Island after a tragic event (Halifax explosion of 1917), hid behind her pen name, and avoided all contact with the boarding school and her friends. Can these women salvage their friendship? Will forgiveness, understanding, grace, compassion, and reconciliation win?

Thoughtful themes include secrets, misunderstandings, bullying, enduring friendship, second chances, mother/daughter relationship, loyalty, forgiveness, reconciliation, grace, secrets, jealousy and competition, prejudice, women supporting women, and telling the truth.

The first book I read by Cathy Gohlke was The Medallian. I soon followed that up with A Hundred Crickets Singing, and I knew then that I would read her next release and that she would be on my authors-to-follow list. I am not disappointed!

In Ladies of the Lake, I appreciate Gohlke’s well-drawn and complicated characters, an intriguing premise, a multi-layered plot, and vividly described settings. She’s quickly becoming an auto-buy author for me! How many auto-buy authors are too many? Asking for a friend.

In general, I must admit that I’m not too fond of extreme plot twists at a story’s end. For me, there’s a fine line between an authentic jaw-dropping plot twist (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine) and one that makes me feel like I’ve been punked or deliberately misled (Everything, Everything). The plot twist in Ladies of the Lake left me with ambivalent feelings. I’m thrilled that the plot twist allowed a HEA ending, but I also felt that I should have been a smarter reader. This is simply a personal preference and did not affect my star rating or overall enjoyment of the story. But it’s significant enough to my reading experience to mention.

I enthusiastically recommend Ladies of the Lake for fans of engaging historical women’s fiction, for readers who have a connection with the setting, and for those who appreciate fiction with strong themes of friendship and women supporting women. Book clubs will find many discussion possibilities.

Thanks #NetGalley @TyndaleHouse #TyndaleHousePublishing for a complimentary e ARC of #LadiesOfTheLake upon my request. All opinions are my own.
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Whenever I see a book review that sounds like it has a minimal amount of romance, and is not a murder mystery, I will take a second look at it. That is what appealed to me about Ladies of the Lake. It sounded like exactly the kind of look I enjoy reading. Also, I remembered reading a book a number of years ago by Cathy Gohlke and really enjoying it. I was not disappointed!
Adelaide Rose MacNeill had always lived on Prince Edward Island.When her parents both died suddenly, though, she found herself packed off to Lakeside Ladies’ Academy in Connecticut. She was surprised to find kindred spirits there—three girls her own age. They called themselves the Ladies of the Lake and vowed to remain friends forever. However, that was before the war. The war with Germany drove wedges between them because of the German family Addie and Dorothy were close friends with. And then, a terrible explosion in the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia destroyed the sisterhood forever.
Fast forward 17 years. Dorothy made a phone call from the Academy to Rosaline Murray to urge her to come to her daughter Bernadette’s graduation. That ripped open Rosaline’s memory, forcing her to remember the sisterhood… the man she once loved… betrayal by friends… and the terrible explosion that changed her life and identity forever. Was there any way to return to what once was? Did she even want to? You’ll have to read this split-time novel, which flips back and forth between 1910-1917 and 1935, and between two characters, to find out!
What a story! Ladies of the Lake was one of those books that dragged me in and held me firmly. I found myself reading for several minutes longer than I should have each time I picked it up. First, I wanted to find out how Rosaline had been maimed and how she fit into the story at the beginning of the book. Then, I had to find out if the foursome ever got together again—I really couldn’t predict that for sure. And then, the crowning delight of the book: Cathy Gohlke surprised her main character with a twist, near the end of the book, that caught me totally by surprise! I love when an author can do that. I highly recommend this book to any woman. It is a great story of women’s friendships. I really liked how low-key the romance was in it. There was some there, and it was an important part of the story, but it was really a minor feature. I am definitely going to be watching for more books by this author!
I received a review copy of this book fromNetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: There were three kisses mentioned, and the word “bloody” once. One or two scenes (I couldn’t find chapter headings) described the carnage after a huge explosion.
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Reader friends, I am going to gush about this phenomenal book and press it into as many hands as I can this summer. I was well and truly riveted from page one and could not put this one down. 

The novel is written from the perspectives of two best friends, Addie and Dot who are both students at Lakeside Ladies Academy in Connecticut in the early 1900s. The book follows their lives from childhood into adulthood and alternates perspectives and timelines. Mystery abounds as the story unfolds and the reader is wondering what happened to break these two friends apart for many years. This is an extremely compelling plot with action, suspense, and real life historical events. 

Read if you love:
🌿Historical Fiction 
🌿Boarding School settings 
🌿Female Friendships
🌿Beautiful Love Stories

This captivating tale brought me to tears multiple times and left me with a message of enduring love, friendship, forgiveness, and gratitude with a Biblical thread woven through it all.  I LOVED this book! Add to your TBR and get a copy for yourself from your favorite bookseller July 11. 

Thank you to Tyndale House for the digital ARC via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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This dual timeline novel follows Adelaide Rose MacNeil and her sisters of the heart, dear friends from the Lakeside Ladies Academy, during their time at the academy from 1905 until 1917, a few years after their graduation, and then again during 1935 as Adelaide's daughter prepares to graduate from the academy. Cathy Gohlke is a master storyteller. No one that I have read exceeds her ability to withhold information, revealing it at just the right moment, at a time that changes everything you thought you knew about the story and its characters. She also is an expert in character development and relationship building between her characters. When she brings the story to a climax, the lesson demonstrated is one worthy of space in the reader's heart. 

I am very grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Ladies of the Lake from Tyndale House Publishing via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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Ladies of the Lake is an exceptional book in every way from the gorgeous prose to the achingly tender story to the well-written characters to the fascinating setting.  My heart shattered and rejoiced as I became deeply immersed in this unputdownable book about sorrow, friendship, family, jealousy, forgiveness, faith and hope.  It also contains elements of history and snippets of romantic love.   

In the early 1900s, after Adelaide's parents tragically die, she is forced by her half brother to leave her beloved PEI to move to Connecticut.  There she attends Lakeside Ladies Academy where she finds immediate connection with Dot, Susannah and Ruth, especially Dot.  They call themselves the Ladies of the Lake and do everything together...but they don't share all their secrets, many of which they'd prefer kept hidden.  A crack begins. festers and causes a rift which remains until eighteen years later when the girls are women and have lives of their own in a second timeline.  Subplots are woven seamlessly throughout.

I really enjoyed the school antics, meeting families of the girls, the boarding school setting, learning more about the Halifax explosion in 1917, friendships, the lives of the women later and dear Mrs. Simmons.  The writing is smart and thoughtful and captures the essence of what it means to be a friend and a woman of faith.  To me this is the epitome of perfection in a book!  

Christian Historical Fiction readers, Ladies of the Lake is absolutely unmissable.  If you are new to the genre, there is no better place to start!  It is more than a is an experience.  

My sincere thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this phenomenal book I enjoyed with my whole heart, one of the most memorable I have read in a long time.
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I must admit, this book took me quite a while to get into. I'm not sure if this was the story itself--- it being a dual timeline with many characters to keep track of, which can often be harder for me to connect with anyway... or if it was because I was listening to the audiobook version, which is not my usual or preferred way to enjoy books typically.... most likely, it was a bit of a combination of the two. 

Despite the slow start though, once I got into the story, I absolutely adored it! This was such a beautiful story about friendship and forgiveness.... mixed with great pieces of history and even a love story too. It spanned the course of many years, jumping back and forth between the time the Ladies were children at the school to their adulthood. It had many heartbreaking moments, but also many filled with hope. All of it kept me wanting to read (or listen) on to see what was going to happen next and how it would all end. While quite different from what I have been reading lately, I found it to be a really wonderful story. 

If you enjoy historical fiction, this is certainly one to check out. 

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All opinions are my own.
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