19 Nov 2013



SOURCE: Received for review from the author.

When Stella and her younger brother, Tom, move to their new London home, they become mystified by the disappearances of Harry, their elderly neighbour’s small dog. Where does he go? And why does he keep reappearing wet-through?

Their quest to solve the riddle over the summer holidays leads to a boat buried under a grassy mound – and a tunnel that takes them to a secret lake. Who is the boy rowing towards them who looks so terrified? And whose are those children’s voices carried on the wind from beyond the woods?

Stella and Tom soon discover that they have travelled back in time to their home and its gardens almost 100 years earlier. Here they make both friends and enemies and, before long, find themselves in deeper trouble than they ever could have imagined.
...... Outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1: The Gardener): Tom's face felt so hot he was sure it was about to explode.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS (Page 96): Her youthful spirit had never left her, it had simply got buried as she had grown older.

MY THOUGHTS: One of those rare books that I'm confident will appeal equally to both boys and girls. Though aimed at the eight to eleven year old market whilst The Secret Lake is ideal for the more confident reader to read alone it is also perfect as a story to be shared at bedtime or indeed any other time.

Part mystery, part thriller. A tale of friendship, of discovery, of oddly behaved moles, The Secret Lake is the magical, enchanting and surprisingly moving story of what happens when two children (brother and sister, Tom and Stella) happen upon a time travel tunnel.

Cleverly written in that at the same time as being a very up to date read - I loved the contrast between Stella and Tom and their twentieth century counterparts -  the author also managed a nostalgic feel to the book that took me back to my childhood.

Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of the author, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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Karen Inglis said...

Hi Tracy - thanks so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review. I am *so* glad that you enjoyed the book. And it still thrills me that a magical story that had been in my head for so long - and then sat on my hard drive and in a box in my office for 10 years - is out there in the big wide world and has been enjoyed by so many children, as well as adults. It really was worth all the hard work! My message to any aspiring author is never give up if you have a special story that you want to tell. Thank you again, Tracy Karen

Bo said...

This sounds like a fun read. I like the idea of time travel through the tunnel. Reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia and also puts me in mind of the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

Kelly said...

This sounds delightful! My granddaughter might enjoy it. (and I'm sure I would)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh sounds good. I like nostalgia reads. I also like that it appeals to a wide audience.

Gina R said...

Drawn in by the cover, stayed for the story AND the review! Sounds like a winning combination...thanks for the share! ^_^

Suko said...

This sounds charming, a fun book for both children and adults. Thanks for a terrific review, Tracy!

Karen Inglis said...

Hi Bo (and all...) One of my favorite books as a child was 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' and I'm sure it had a part to play in my inspiration for a story with another world close by. (Albeit my world is more firmly rooted in reality than Narnia - insofar as time travel worlds can be!) Karen

(PS I just tried posting this with my Google account but it didn't post - apologies if it appears twice!)

Karen Inglis said...

Apologies - my ID link is broken above: I have corrected it with this post!

BTW To read more about the inspiration for the story go to http://www.thesecretlake.com You'll find some children's reviews on there too! Karen

Brian Joseph said...

I know a couple of children who I think will enjoy this one. Indeed it sounds like something that I would have loved at that age. Thanks for the review.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

As you say, this story sounds like a real nostalgia trip ... a bit like 'The Famous Five', 'The Secret Seven' 'The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe' and 'The Secret Garden', all rolled into one.

Great for younger readers and those of us who are just young at heart!


Betty Manousos said...

this sounds like a delightful book for both children and adults. thanks for another brilliant review, tracy!

big hugs~

Lindsay said...

I'm so pleased to see you liked this one Tracy, I read and very much enjoyed it.