On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah - Book Review

On the day Annie’s only child leaves for London, headed toward adulthood, Annie’s husband announces he’s fallen in love with someone else. Annie does what most middle-aged cast offs do: she leaves her big city life for her small hometown. Although many writers have beaten this premise to death, Ms. Hannah manages to invoke enough distinctiveness to make On Mystic Lake a unique and engaging read.

Once resituated in Mystic, Annie discovers an old friend, Nick, whose life is an even larger misfortune. Jumping quickly into her typical fixer mode, Annie takes over the care of Nick’s highly distressed young daughter while assisting him expunge his demons. Once the healing process is underway, and Annie begins to see a light at the end of her own tunnel, the author throws Annie several twists, including a unplanned pregnancy, her perceptive daughter’s timely return from London and an emotional decision where Annie must choose between doing the right thing ad what is right.

On Mystic Lake is tight and moves quickly. We easily care about the characters and wish for their happiness. Their resolution is left until the end, leaving us wondering until the last pages. Themes of maternal loss, personal growth during grief, and finding one’s own worth pervade this story. On Mystic Lake is charming entertainment for a lazy afternoon.

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