Daughters of the Lake: Book Review

Daughters of the Lake is an intriguing novel that is a combination of historical fiction and a murder mystery. The author, Wendy Webb, has been called the Queen of Northern Gothic. The book switches back and  forth between the present and the late 1800s to early 1900s. In modern times, Kate Granger, a recently divorced women living with her parents on Lake Superior, finds the perfectly preserved body of a dead woman washed ashore with a baby in her arms. As it turns out, Kate has been dreaming about this woman for three weeks before the body was found. Kate decides to continue with her plan to visit her cousin Simon in the tourist hotspot of Wharton. She tells him about the body and her dreams, and they delve into a mystery to unlock their family history.

In the 1800s, a girl named Addie Cassat is born, but not in a normal way. Her mother, Marie, is somehow attracted to the lake during the birth of Addie. She makes it to the water, and her baby is born there. The baby floats away in the water, still alive. Marie is taken back to their house, the baby not found. Elsewhere, young Jess Stewart is also attracted to the lake, hearing the sound of music. He sees little Addie floating peacefully in the water, alive and well. Addie is returned to her parents, and, like her ancestors before her, is weirdly attracted to the lake. Jess and Addie become the best of friends from that day forward.

I’m not going to spoil it, but Kate and Simon discover a relationship between Addie and the girl in Kate’s dreams and the dead body. They continue to research this woman, her connection to Jess, and her link to Kate and Simon’s family. At the end, six continuous plot twists keep the reader fascinated. Just when you think that Kate and Simon have it all figured out, the finacouple twists of the story jerk you back into the book, keeping your brain reeling. I could hardly fall asleep at night, what with my brain racing from the developing information in the story. I definitely recommend this book to any person who enjoys a good murder mystery.


Caroline Haines