A WEEK AT THE LAKE: No Surprises


A_WEEK_AT_THE_LAKE coverWritten by: Wendy Wax
Narrated by: Amy Rubinate

Review is based on:
Unabridged Audiobook
Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
Release Date:06-23-15
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Also available in print and e-book formats: Berkley/Penguin Random House: On Sale 6‐23‐15 |432 pages

Audio Book provided by Tantor Audio for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.

Twenty years ago, Emma Michaels, Mackenzie Hayes, and Serena Stockton bonded over their New York City dreams. Then, each summer, they solidified their friendship by spending one week at the lake together, solving their problems over bottles of wine and gallons of ice cream. They kept the tradition for years, until jealousy, lies, and life’s disappointments made them drift apart.

It’s been five years since Emma has seen her friends, an absence designed to keep them from discovering a long-ago betrayal. Now she’s in desperate need of their support. The time has come to reveal her secrets—and hopefully rekindle their connection.

But when a terrible accident keeps Emma from saying her piece, Serena and Mackenzie begin to learn about the past on their own. Now, to heal their friendship and their broken lives, the three women will have to return to the lake that once united them, and discover which relationships are worth holding on to.  http://authorwendywax.com/a-week-at-the-lake/

My Take Oblong

This is a competently written story with somewhat interesting characters who share a complicated past we do not really share with them except through memory.  Memory is not the most competent or unbiased reporter.

I enjoyed that the story took place partly at Lake George, NY since I grew up near there and it was an area we occasionally visited.   The story started out unique, fresh and different as we look at how Mackenzie got to NY and where she ended up and her preparations to travel to the city for this week at the lake with her two bffs.  We then switch to Emma and her teenaged daughter, then we finally meet Serena who stars as a cartoon caricature of herself in a Simpson-esque TV show.

After that it becomes pretty predictable with ample telegraphing of each “twist” in the story.  A champion weight-lifting, former Soviet nurse is introduced.  I had a few issues with how this character is written and voiced.  I felt it was stereotyped in the extreme and that the stereotype was even out of date.  The character is ludicrous but becomes more humanized in the last third of the story.  Given the way that character is written, I don;t know how else she could have been narrated; the reader probably did the best she could with the material as written.

The relationship between the friends is really heartwarming.  These are women who would, and who do, do anything for each other.  And, the way the three women offer support to Zoe, Emma’s daughter, is lovely. And, finally the survival of the friendship, through distance, difficulty, and personality conflicts is remarkable and makes me wish I had these women as my friends.

Despite its predictability, the book does look at some interesting issues: medical directives, tying up loose ends, deep friendship, truth, being genuine, parenting, and betrayal.

But, there was hardly anything I didn’t see coming from the first couple of pages of the book.  It does have a “ripped from the headlines” feel.    It reminded me of a Jackie Collins romance and a play produced on HBO in the 1981: Vanities by Jack Heifner (wikimedia article). If you like a light and predictable tale; or want to read an untaxing buddy novel, then you might enjoy this one.

Links Blue Horizontal

Tantor: https://tantor.com/a-week-at-the-lake-wendy-wax.html

Author: http://authorwendywax.com/a-week-at-the-lake/

Print Publisher: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/316286/a-week-at-the-lake-by-wendy-wax/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Week-at-Lake-Wendy-Wax/dp/0425274470