Reading Group Guide (downloadable .pdf file)
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THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD ~ Coming August 4, 2015! (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press)
Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where she spent summers growing up, but cannot bear to stay herself; everything about the lake reminds her of the guilt she feels. For her daughter Caroline, however, the lake is a precious world apart; its familiarity and sameness comforts her every year despite the changes in her life outside its bounds. At twelve years old and caught between childhood and adolescence, she longs to win her mother’s love and doesn’t understand why Jo keeps running away.
Then seven-year-old Sara Starr goes missing from the community beach. Rescue workers fail to uncover any sign of her—but instead dredge up the bones Jo hoped would never be discovered, shattering the quiet lakeside community’s tranquility. Caroline was one of the last people to see Sara alive on the beach, and feels responsible for her disappearance. She takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the little girl. As Caroline searches for Sara, she uncovers the secrets her mother has been hiding, unraveling the very foundation of everything she knows about herself and her family in this riveting novel that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.
“This beautiful, heartbreaking, and affecting debut, reminiscent of the work of Heather Gudenkauf, will have readers craving more from Katchur.” Library Journal starred review
"Karen Katchur's THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD gripped me with its provocative opening sentence and held me in its spell until its final, shattering revelations. This is a powerful thriller about buried secrets that painfully resurface, innocence lost across the generations, and the terrible price we pay for growing up and growing older. Karen Katchur knows how to write and write well about ordinary people stretched to their limits. A suspenseful, heartbreaking novel."
--David Bell, author of THE FORGOTTEN GIRL
“The rhythms of a summer community, the tensions of an unsolved crime, and the thrumming undertow of adolescence come together in this sparkling debut. Beautifully paced from captivating beginning to satisfying end.”
--Kelly Simmons, author of STANDING STILL and THE BIRD HOUSE
“At once gripping and evocative, THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD conjures childhood’s best and worst moments—its secret joys and terrors, its hopefulness and uncertainty. Katchur skillfully weaves between past and present, revealing devastating truths along the way.”
--Paula Treick DeBoard, author of THE MOURNING HOURS and THE FRAGILE WORLD