The Lake of Dead Languages

The Lake of Dead Languages

Carol Goodman / Jun 17, 2021

The Lake of Dead Languages In the evocative tradition of Donna Tartt s first novel The Secret History comes this accomplished debut of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins Twenty years ago Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake

  • Title: The Lake of Dead Languages
  • Author: Carol Goodman
  • ISBN: 9780345487155
  • Page: 148
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the evocative tradition of Donna Tartt s first novel, The Secret History, comes this accomplished debut of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakeside school as a Latin teacher, recently separateIn the evocative tradition of Donna Tartt s first novel, The Secret History, comes this accomplished debut of youthful innocence drowned by dark sins Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson left the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy Now she has returned to the placid, isolated shores of the lakeside school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories that will become a living nightmare.Since freshman year, Jane and her two roommates, Lucy Toller and Deirdre Hall, were inseparable studying the classics, performing school girl rituals on the lake, and sneaking out after curfew to meet Lucy s charismatic brother Matt However, the last winter before graduation, everything changed For in that sheltered, ice encrusted wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of senseless suicide Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden for than two decades in the dark depths of Heart Lake Now pages from Jane s missing journal, written during that tragic time, have reappeared, revealing shocking, long buried secrets And suddenly, young, troubled girls are beginning to die again as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface.At once compelling, sensuous, and intelligent, The Lake of Dead Languages is an eloquent thriller, an intricate balance of suspense and fine storytelling that proves Carol Goodman is a rare new talent with a brilliant future.From the Hardcover edition.

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      Published :2021-03-14T16:25:56+00:00

    About "Carol Goodman"

      • Carol Goodman

        Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, the Watchtower Trilogy with husband Lee Slonimsky , and the young adult Blythewood series Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices After graduation from Vassar College, where she majored in Latin, she taught Latin for several years in Austin, Texas She then received an M.F.A in fiction from the New School University Goodman currently teaches literature and writing at The New School and SUNY New Paltz and lives with her family in the Hudson Valley.


    1. Hmm. One of those books you want to be done with but have to finish to see how it ends. Kind of a thriller, kind of a mystery. The narrator is a former student of all-girls' school Heart Lake who comes back to teach Latin as an adult. In her time there as a student, both of her roommates committed suicide, and now someone seems to be recreating this past aggressively and accusatorily (I may have made this word up; if not, I spelled it wrong). This novel was like an overstuffed sandwich with too [...]

    2. Oh, wowwhere to begin. There were elements of this book that I wanted to give 5 stars. The story, the plot, the intertwining of characters and their histories. A nice reveal at the end (although it was very predictable). The problem was the pacing. I felt like I was reading the book forever. At one point I actually stared at the page number, 287, and could not believe there were STILL 100 more pages to go. Too much detail and description when it was way beyond the need for such. I could deal wit [...]

    3. 4 stars--I really liked it.I adore this book for its setting (a girls' boarding school), its plot (full of gothic twists and turns), and its Classical and literary allusions (the deer imagery, the poetry scraps, etc.). All the Goodman books I've read have had school settings (reflecting her own experiences, I think), and they're always authentic and full of interest.

    4. A '9 out of 10' book - it won't be added to my list of ultimate favourites, but it was the best thing I've read for a long time. I love stories of this ilk, and The Lake of Dead Languages has everything; flashbacks to the narrator's intriguing past, buried (or rather drowned) secrets refusing to stay that way, a boarding school housed in an old mansion, parallels with classical mythology, pagan rites and ice storms. I found Jane likeable from the start, and it was easy to sympathise with her as [...]

    5. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I really enjoyed it. This book, overall, is well written with a descriptive, atmospheric prose and a touch of gothic undertones to make it just dark enough for me to love. Composed of secrets, lies, suicide, murder and revenge; Goodman brilliantly weaves layers into the plot that kept me engaged until the end. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

    6. I don’t know why I picked up this book, but it must have been based on a bookseller’s recommendations. I had no idea what to expect, but the book quickly drew me in. The protagonist, Jane Hudson, has taken refuge from her failed marriage by returning to her former boarding school in upstate New York. Pieces of the journal she kept during her senior year start appearing, reminding her of the tragedies 20 years ago – her roommate’s suicide, and then the other roommate and her brother drown [...]

    7. An all girls’ school. A Latin Class. A troubled magistra with a shady alumna past. Students writing Latin phrases on their arms and razor-slicing their wrists open. Stolen Diaries. Secret Pregnancies. Taboo Love. Suicide on ice, water and dorm rooms. Academic Pressures. Friendships gone wrong. Ghost lakes and tragic folklore. History Repeating itself.Relax, I’m not spoiling the entire book yet. If you’re a fan of mysteries with gothic touches, and thought the themes I just listed above sou [...]

    8. This is the first Carol Goodman book that I read, and despite myself I read two of her others even after being so irritated with this one. And I felt the exact same way about all of them. They all have great symbolism, exciting twists, interesting layers of metaphor and intertwined stories. And they are all utterly ruined by Goodman not giving her reader any credit whatsoever. When you almost have that satisfied 'Ah, I have figured something out' or 'ah, that symbol has reappeared here' She slam [...]

    9. “Spirit of the Lake, we come here in the spirit of friendship. We don’t ask for special protection””All we ask is that whatever happens to one of us, let happen to all of us.” Many times, whilst reading this book, I had to place‘The Lake of Dead Languages’down in front of me and just stare into the distance. It was eerie and gritty and raw and the characters felt so vivid and real. This book was set at an all girls boarding school called ‘Heart Lake.’ This is a school that was [...]

    10. A modern Gothic mystery - reminds me of The Secret History.(well, technically, I read this one first, so I should say The Secret History reminded me of this book. But same difference.) Bottom line: both are incredibly creepy and really good reads.

    11. I'm only about 20% into this novel, but I'm already impressed by the seemingly effortless but genuinely elegant prose. This lady can write. Several of the characters (in both the past and in the present) reach their hands up from the page and become spooky real. I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't fall apart as I go farther.***Okay, finished it. Interestingly enough, there were so many people who compared this to The Secret History that I read it too. Oddly enough, I liked Carol Goodman's Th [...]

    12. I really enjoyed Goodman's writing, but I had to remove stars because I figured out all of the plot twists before they happened, which made for a bit of an anticlimactic ending. I spent the second half of the book wanting to shake Jane and say "REALLY?! This is painfully obvious!!!" I really can't say if this predictability is due to Goodman's inadequacies or my teenage tendency to read V.C. Andrews books. Things that Goodman seems to consider shocking were really pretty tame compared to what An [...]

    13. This was the first of this author's that I had read- and I loved it. It had all the elements of what makes a good eerie mystery novel- for women. I can't really see myself recommending this to a man. That's not being sexist but it's easy to explain. Lead female character flees with 4 year old child to former boarding school set in brooding frozen upper New York isolated country to teach LATIN (of all things) in hot house atmosphere of teenage girls performing fake Goddess rituals that involve cu [...]

    14. I picked this up on a whim at I think either target or a bookstore right before a movie I was seeing. The blurb grabbed me way more than the cover did. This book blends coming of age with mystery and suspense with romance languages and boarding school as a background. I didn't see the ending coming at all and I normally have some inkling in most books.While this was my first Carol Goodman book, it wasn't the last. I pick them up when I see a new one out and always enjoy them. The arts is always [...]

    15. A book that starts off really good, and ends upjust bad. Voice and OverallI really liked the hook of the Latin classes, and I thought the beginning was good also. But after the introduction of all the characters, there was a big, and I mean big, downturn in the quality of the book.At some point I felt like I was reading a chick-flick; with all that nonsense about hiding her diary and being worried about what Myra Todd (I think that's what her name was) would say. Another big thing I didn't like [...]

    16. This is one of those books I wanted to be done with, but I also wanted to find out the truth behind the events. It's an eerie and cold mystery novel that deals with memories, death, loss and guilt. Not a book I would have chosen for myself to read, but I always like a challenge.I want to thank my friend Jen for trying to broaden my horizons by giving me this book and sharing a book with me that she obviously enjoyed reading. During our senior year Lucy Toller was sent to the infirmary with two [...]

    17. одного прекрасного дня джейн, головна героїня "озера мертвих мов", розуміє, що їй нікуди йти ("кому, думаєш, ти потрібна з твоєю магістеркою з латини?"), і повертається у свою стару школу – тепер уже як викладачка. це, звісно, не те місце, куди дуже хотілось би повернутися, бо там [...]

    18. Не могла відірватися, проковтнула за три дні. тут є все, що миле серцю любителям похмурих головоломок і готичної атмосфери - школа-пансіон на березі озера, розлогі цитати з латини, похмурі сімейні таємниці, незайманки-самогубці і ненезайманки-самогубці, містичні легенди і р [...]

    19. Unbelievably great book, absolute page turner that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. There aren't many labelled mystery books that really create the sensation of true mystery, and this book did that for me!! Loved it and have bought for all the readers in my life! :)

    20. Good to know that the time I spent waiting for this book wasn't in vain .A good mix of creepy and crazy thrown into the mystery/thriller genreDefinitely recommended.Will be reading Arcadia Falls soon and hope it's as good (or better)

    21. The book starts out with our narrator Jane. Portions of the book are present day and told in first person and the rest in diary form. The journal portions read exactly like the present day. She is always the outsider looking in. The school is so cut off from the world that only vague references in society attitudes toward sexuality denote the years. That and when Jane researches her school alumni.Jane doesn't write the usual boring entries about herself as most self obsesssed teenagers do. The j [...]

    22. Un lago ghiacciato, teatro di vecchie leggende, una scuola prestigiosa sulle sue rive e delle misteriose morti nelle sue acque. Vent'anni dopo quelle morti, Jane Hudson, ex allieva della scuola, vi fa ritorno in veste di insegnante di latino e il passato sembra ripetersi nel presente Un mystery ipnotico, curioso, piacevole al punto giusto. I suoi punti forte sono certamente l'ambientazione, ben costruita, molto visiva, quasi "scenografica" (nel leggerlo par quasi di perdersi fra le nebbie che ci [...]

    23. This is a suspense book, and as such I feel incapable of getting into the things I feel about it without spoilers. I'll briefly discuss the rating first and then shout in the spoiler tags. So!Three stars, because I finished the book, despite shouting "I hate this why are you like this" several times near the end. There were genuinely compelling bits of writing, and I wanted to see a resolution badly enough that I stuck it out. The audiobook reader is also very fine, I would listen to other books [...]

    24. I stayed up till 1:30 in the morning finishing this. It is sensationalist in a foreseeable sort of way, but perhaps it's more foreseeable if one's been reading Euripides for half a lifetime. And I don't object to foreseeing a lot of twists and turns! What I valued the most about this book was the way that it cares about diverse women choosing to pursue the life of the mind, for a variety of reasons. The prose is elegantly crafted, and the evocation of landscape is loving and intense. Helen Chamb [...]

    25. Well Albie a son of a bitch. Ugh, I knew it the whole time. Albie! This story was very predictable for me. I knew Lucy and Matt were lovers, and I knew, once I realized that Dr. Lockhart was never mentioned by her first name, that she was Albie! But that's beside the point. I gave this book three stars, but I have read and agreed with other readers' two star reviews. There is way too much going on in this story. It's very far-fetched. The narrator was a complete moron. Why did it seem as though [...]

    26. I liked this novel overall but found it overly complex and confusing with characters from today and twenty years ago, intertwined with students with English and Latin names from both periods. Throw in secret adoptions, suicides (or murders?) and it’s a relief to finish the book! And if you manage to tie up all the loose threads, my hat off to you. Still, perfect read over the Christmas holidays!

    27. Really struggled with giving this one 3 or 4 stars. While the story was very interesting, it was a little slow moving for me

    28. Part of this is my fault since I keep reading Carol Goodman books. She writes about a woman with a daughter who lives in upstate New York and usually works at an all-girls school where Something Bad happened years ago.The Drowning Tree was great. Arcadia Falls was good. This one was just predictable.I figured out the villain halfway through. The ending was less than fantastic since it was so obvious to me who was behind all the problems. (Although I'm still unclear about a few things. Why was Lu [...]

    29. I read this over my spring break senior year of Kenyon, so perhaps I have fond memories of that time, all alone on campus except for a few other people who couldn't pull their comps together. When I'd made especially good progress researching and writing, I'd go to the bookstore (alas--best bookstore in the world done to death by new corportate college president who removed the kiddie tower, the used books, and the fairy tale character banners!) and read The Lake of Dead Languages. Basically, I [...]

    30. I loved this book. What really works for me is an author who doesn’t have hubris about how good he or she is, and uses old formulas. Author Carol Goodman has respect for the reader and takes care in the detail of her settings, carefulness with her plot and substantive character development. The plot is a mirror of a triad of girls at an isolated girls’ in the woods of Northern New York State, one 20 years ago, and one contemporary. Jane is the central character, and she was part of the triad [...]

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