Download Full Free The Secrets of Lake Road Epub Ebook – Android Books by Karen Katchur
A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, The Secrets of Lake Road is an accomplished and gripping suspenseful women’s fiction debut
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. Caroline’s coming-of-age story, mirrored with Jo’s troubled teenage past, makes for an enthralling read that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.
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An Excerpt from The Secrets of Lake Road
No one touched the bottom of the lake and lived. If you were lucky, you’d surface wide-eyed and frantic, babbling at the darkness, the thickness of what lay below. If you were unlucky, underwater recovery dragged the lake for your body.
As Caroline unpacked her duffel bag in the small bedroom where she had slept every summer since she could remember, she wondered who would be brave or stupid enough to try to touch bottom this summer.
The cabin door to The Pop-Inn creaked open and closed with a bang. Caroline rushed to the window to see who it was. A warm breeze blew, carrying the dampness of the lake and the smell of a barbecue. The leaves rustled in the hundred-year-old trees. She looked down the dirt road that led into the colony, catching her older brother, Johnny, pass by. If he’d noticed her watching, he pretended he hadn’t. He wasn’t five steps away when he lit a cigarette, a habit he perpetuated at the lake but never at home. Rules at the lake were lax if they existed at all.
He blew smoke from his lips and whipped his head to the side, sweeping the wavy bangs from his eyes. He walked down the hill with a swagger that was uniquely his, cool and a little cocky, but with enough insecurity that hinted at a sensitive side and, as much as she hated to admit it, a certain charm.
Caroline hoped Gram didn’t see the cigarette. “No smoking in front of Gram,” their mother had warned repeatedly during the three-hour drive from their home in New Jersey to the lake. But at sixteen-years-old, Johnny always did what Johnny wanted to do, no matter what anyone said. In a way she believed their mother was trying to protect Johnny from Gram’s wrath, a disposition Gram reserved solely for Caroline’s mother, but apparently her mother was as oblivious to that fact as she was to other things, in Caroline’s opinion.
She returned to unpacking, putting clothes into the dresser she and Gram had painted white last summer. Her mother walked into the room and handed her clean sheets. While she made up the bed, her mother leaned against the doorjamb with a far-off look in her eyes. Her long dark hair cast shadows in the hollows of her cheeks, making her face appear gaunt, haunted.
The way her mother looked, her expression, reminded Caroline of the lake. There was a place inside of her mother as vast and as murky. It must be a sad place, because she often heard her cry. She imagined it was also a place where her mother felt trapped. She’d pull at her clothes and hair as though she were tangled in fishing line. Sometimes she’d run out of the house and drive off. Sometimes she wouldn’t return home for days.
Gram said we all run from something, whether it was a terrible childhood or a bad marriage, or perhaps we run from ourselves, and Caroline’s mother was no different. Caroline understood what Gram was saying, but she couldn’t help but wonder why her mother was always running from her.
“All set?” her mother asked when Caroline had finished making up the bed.
“Looks like it.” She ran her hand over the new green quilt Gram had stitched, smoothing out the wrinkles.
“I’m going to see what Gram needs from me.” Her mother walked away, leaving her alone to finish unpacking.
Caroline unrolled her new poster of the latest boy band and pinned it to the wall. She particularly liked the lead singer, and it wasn’t because she was boy crazy. She liked his skateboard. Okay, maybe she liked his hair, toothy smile, and flawless skin. That reminded her. She dug into the bag in search of sunscreen. She felt around and pulled out her cell phone. No bars or messages. She wasn’t surprised. She tossed it into a drawer. It wasn’t like anyone from home would miss her enough to text. And even if someone did want to contact her for some reason, it was next to impossible, since the lake was nestled deep inside the Pocono Mountains and what was considered a dead zone.
Gram’s voice rang out from the kitchen. She paused to listen.
“Why not?” Gram asked.
“I have things to do,” her mother said.
“You always have things to do. What things, Jo?”
“I don’t know. Things.”
A cabinet door was closed harder than usual.
“Can you at least stick around for a few days and help me clean out that back closet and porch? I can’t do it by myself,” Gram said.
Her mother sighed heavily. A second or two passed before she grumbled, “Maybe.”
But Caroline knew her mother’s maybes were always nos. She had learned at a young age that maybe was just her mother’s way of putting off the answer you didn’t want to hear. Could she get ice cream? Maybe. Could she go to the movies? Maybe. Could she get a skateboard? Maybe.
No ice cream. No movie. No skateboard.
Another cabinet door slammed, rattling the dishes inside, and Caroline figured Gram understood what maybe meant too.
Caroline went back to digging into her bag, pulling out an extra bathing suit and shorts. The cabin’s screen door squeaked open and closed this time without a bang. Her heart beat a little faster. Someone was sneaking out and she knew who.
She dropped the clothes onto the bed, raced out of her room, passed Gram in the kitchen, and bolted outside. Her mother waved as she hopped in the car and pulled away from the cabin. Gravel and dust kicked up from the tires of the old Chevy as she headed down the dirt road.
Caroline swiped her eyes. Crybaby, she scolded herself. At twelve years old, she should no longer need hugs and kisses good-bye from her mother.
And yet she still wanted them.