The Lake SeasonTitle:  The Lake Season
Author:  Hannah McKinnon
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Published:  June 2, 2015
Publisher:  Atria Books
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Blurb:

Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” (Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author) novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.

Iris Standish has always been the responsible sister: the one who studied hard, settled down, and always made the right choices—even when they came at the expense of her passions. Meanwhile, her sister Leah dropped out of college to “find herself” by hiking through Yellowstone and switches jobs nearly as often as she switches lovers, leaving Iris to pick up the pieces in her wake.

But now Iris’s life is coming apart at the seams, and when Leah calls her back to their childhood home with a desperate cry for help, she is thrust headfirst into preparations for her sister’s wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met…with her own marriage and family on the brink.

Still, despite the rush of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Iris is learning to put herself first. And amid a backdrop of late-night swims and a soul-restoring barn renovation comes Cooper Woods, a high school crush who beckons with the promise of a new start.

While Leah faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say goodbye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive—and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors in this novel of second chances and the ties that bind.

Read on for my thoughts on The Lake Season.  No true spoilers, promise.

The Lake Season truly reads as real life, as though we’ve been given access to a peephole and are able to watch as events unfold and lives are changed forever.

When your world is tilted on its axis and everything you thought you knew changes, sometimes the best place to be is back home.  Iris has returned home to Hampstead Lake.  Her marriage  lies shattered at her feet as her husband of more than a decade has decided he wants another life that does not include her.  Leah, her younger sister, is getting married, under odd circumstances as no one in the family has met the intended groom.  She has asked Iris to return home to help her with the wedding preparations.  But there is more here beneath the surface.

The Lake Season is a delightful story about family and how much we often do not know what is going on in the lives of those other members.  It is a second chance novel in many ways as relationships change and mend.  A second chance for romance as well, as Cooper enters Iris’ life once more, this time both are adults and the ending results are quite different from the past.

It’s often not easy to go home again, The Lake Season makes that very plain.  You will be brought into the lives of women who on the surface are very different, yet a sister is forever.  I enjoyed my time with these characters and would recommend this story for just about anyone who enjoys the dynamics of family and second chances.

*I received an e-ARC of The Lake Season from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

The Lake Season is available in paperback and for the Kindle