The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright
I have been a fan of Jaime Jo Wright’s books from the very start. I thought that her last book, On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor was going to go down as my all-time favorite. But I was wrong. Because the thing about Jaime Jo Wright, is that she just keeps getting better and better. And every book makes me fall just a little bit deeper in love.
The Souls of Lost Lake is based upon a ghost story. The kind you heard as a teen, seated around the glow of a campfire with shadows at your back and the remains of sticky marshmallows coating your tongue. A ghost story about a young girl who emerges from the forest spattered with blood and dragging a logger’s axe…
Like Wright’s other novels, this book is a dual-timeline narrative told from the perspective of two main protagonists: Wren (modern day) and Ava (1930s.) The setting for both is the town of Tempter’s Creek and its dark surrounding woods, and the stories work well together. The modern day timeline is set at a summer camp, and I thought this was the perfect setting to tie in with the creepy “ghost stories around the campfire” element.
As per the plot description, the story itself gives off all the dark and creepy vibes one would expect. But the scare-factor was on par with other thrillers and completely manageable, even for this anything-but-horror reader. Part of this is due to the light romance subplots woven into each narrative, giving some brightness to the story. There are also strong themes of forgiveness and grace, and finding a sense of home.
The Souls of Lost Lake was a book I finished in a day, simply because I could not put it down. The suspense built throughout, the plot was exciting, and there were enough twists to keep me guessing. I also loved that Ava’s timeline revealed the truth behind the ghost story. This was not only a great example of how myths and stories are created, but also spoke to the power of suspicion and rumor.
This was another beautifully written read by Wright. Known for her gothic elements, dual-timelines, and generational mysteries, The Souls of Lost Lake did not disappoint!
Fans of ghost stories and dual-timeline narratives with authentic feeling faith elements.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of Jaime Jo Wright and the publisher, Bethany House. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher) Wren Blythe has long enjoyed being among the Northwoods, helping her father with programming at a youth camp. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess, who still roams the woods. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coons cabin ruins and a rotting porcelain doll. But even more terrifying is seeing her name etched on the doll’s foot like a sinister omen.
In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last ten years carrying the mantle of mystery since she emerged from the forest as an eight-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger’s axe. She has accepted she’ll never remember what happened to her family. When a member of the town of Tempter’s Creek is murdered, rumors spread that Ava’s secret is more malicious than previously imagined.
Both women discover that to save the innocent, they must face an insidious evil.