On Mystic Lake ~
I found this book to be very easy to get through and a fast page turner. On Mystic Lake is the second Kristin Hannah book that I have read and, although I didn’t like it quite as well as I did “Firefly Lane,” I did like this book quite a lot. There are many very likable characters in this book, especially Izzy. I also really like Nick and felt a lot of empathy for him.
However, there was something that bothered me quite a lot about On Mystic Lake. After reflecting on this book for a couple days after completion to make sure I gave it an honest and fair review, my opinion hasn’t changed. My biggest peeve with this book is the fact that towards the end of the book I started not liking the main character so much. I really loved her in the beginning and felt for her for the situation she had been dealt. I found myself really rooting for her on her journey of self exploration. Then things changed. She started talking about how she was such a “giver” and that she always did for others and didn’t think of herself and the character’s likability started plummeting downhill for me.
To me, keeping your daughter in a family with a dad who doesn’t participate (and the daughter even advises divorce), going back to a husband because you are pregnant and want to keep the “family” together (while tearing the start of a new one apart in the process), and leaving a man who loves you and a little girl who does, too, so that you can make these stupid decisions seems rather selfish. And weak. And she does this all under the guise of “doing the right thing,” although she doesn’t seem to be so worried about “doing the right thing” when she is doing what boils down to using Nick to try to pet her shattered ego. The people that talk about how all they think about is others yet make decisions that are only about themselves make me angry. And for someone who fought so hard to keep a very dysfunctional family together, we sure didn’t see much of a reaction out of her when her husband wanted nothing to do with the new baby (either when they were married or divorced). She even kissed him goodbye on their final scene together when a swift punch to the face would have been a much more deserved reaction. I just can’t believe that all of his selfishness and personality flaws came as such an “awakening” type experience for her after 20 years of marriage. To be a Stanford grad, our heroine in On Mystic Lake doesn’t seem very bright.
I thought I might have pegged her wrong until it took a drawn out thought process at the end of On Mystic Lake for her to decide whether she wanted to take the road north or south. Seriously? She “loves” Nick and Izzy yet she has to think about what she will do. Not impressed.
Having said that, the heroine of On Mystic Lake does ultimately makes the right decision (or at least the reader is left with that impression). But it seems to me that she doesn’t grow very much when the opportunities present themselves. It seems that she only makes the right decisions when forced (i.e. when her husband decided the marriage was over AGAIN, and when she potentially had nowhere else to go). If the moral of this story is how our heroine finds herself and becomes a stronger woman out of a seemingly hopeless situation, I didn’t really see that come to fruition.
Regardless, On Mystic Lake was still better than a lot I have read. Like I said, it was really easy to get through and was very interesting. If you have not read Kristin Hannah, then I would recommend reading this BEFORE Firefly Lane so that you save the best for last. I recommend this book for anyone into light summer fare and easy chick lit.
I also have “True Colors” by Kristin Hannah and I hope to read it soon. I hope it is at least as good as “On Mystic Lake.” If so, I will be satisfied.
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