Ladies of the Lake by Cathy Gohlke — a Book Review

Ladies of the lake book review


From the desk of Syrie James

I just read an advance copy of the most wonderful novel, “Ladies of the Lake” by Cathy Gohlke, and I wanted to share. I was hooked from the first chapter. There are so many suspenseful threads and need-to-know questions between the story in the 1930s and the earlier years (1910s – 1917) that I couldn’t put it down. Here’s the book description:
When she is forced to leave her beloved Prince Edward Island to attend Lakeside Ladies Academy after the death of her parents, the last thing Adelaide Rose MacNeill expects to find is three kindred spirits. The “Ladies of the Lake,” as the four girls call themselves, quickly bond like sisters, vowing that wherever life takes them, they will always be there for each other. But that is before: Before love and jealousy come between Adelaide and Dorothy, the closest of the friends. Before the dawn of World War I upends their world and casts baseless suspicion onto the German American man they both love. Before a terrible explosion in Halifax Harbor rips the sisterhood irrevocably apart.
Seventeen years later, Rosaline Murray receives an unsuspecting telephone call from Dorothy, now headmistress of Lakeside, inviting her to attend the graduation of a new generation of girls, including Rosaline’s beloved daughter. With that call, Rosaline is drawn into a past she’d determined to put behind her. To memories of a man she once loved . . . of a sisterhood she abandoned . . . and of the day she stopped being Adelaide MacNeill.”
I’m a huge fan of L.M. Montgomery and I loved the ways that she and her novel Anne of Green Gables were included in the story. The Prince Edward Island and Halifax locations were beautifully described. I’ve been to both places and what memories this book evoked. The childhood/school years were exceptionally well done as was the Halifax explosion, a tragic historical event and a turning point in the plot, and I was gripped by the emotional turmoil of the women in their adult years–and holding my breath to see how it would all turn out.
What a page-turning tale! The author spun it so well and so craftily that the twist took me by complete surprise. I wondered how she was going to pull off a happy ending but she did! This is a brilliant story by an author at the top of her game, full of heartache and pain, joy and laughter, lessons learned, personal growth, and a lovely connection to God. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to read it again. 5 stars!
LADIES OF THE LAKE comes out on July 11, 2023. PURCHASE and PREORDER LINKS available at Amazon.
  • Author: Cathy Gohlke
  • Publisher: Tyndale House (July 11, 2023)
  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction and Romance
  • Length: 384 pages
  • Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook
  • ISBN-13:  978-1496453549


Cathy Gohlke headshot



Bestselling, Christy Hall of Fame, and Carol and INSPY Award-winning author, Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history.

When not traveling to historic sites for research, she and her husband, Dan, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Visit her website at, and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks; on Bookbub (@ CathyGohlke); and on YouTube, where you can subscribe to Book Gems with Cathy Gohlke for short videos of book recommendations.


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