The Lake of Dead Languages

The Lake of Dead Languages

Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 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 freshmen 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 more 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.
Publisher: c2002.
ISBN: 034548715X
Branch Call Number: FIC Goodm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jul 21, 2014

Picture it - the plain Jane townie girl (whose name, lord help us, is actually Jane).

The main character was completely thick. I don't understand why everyone was so enamored of Lucy, she was basically a pretty girl, but a bit of a sociopath.

The author hits us over the head with a completely obvious "bad guy" but the main and supporting characters are all too thick to see it.

About halfway through this book, I just couldn't wait for it to be over. I didn't even care about the "mystery" any more.

Apr 11, 2013

Definitely a well-written page-turner!

Feb 16, 2012

Was a little slow moving to begin with, but the second half of the book sucked me and and I had to keep reading!

Dec 01, 2010

Along with the other commenter I absolutely love Carol Goodman. I just discovered her by accident this summer/fall and she is now one of my favorite authors. Her mysteries all have common elements but that does not seem to bother me. They are well written and absorbing.

Feb 14, 2007

I LOVE Carol Goodman - she's someone whose books I devour immediately upon release

Jun 03, 2003

Once there was a school for young girls called Heart Lake. It was built as a mansion on the banks of the lake and every girl who came there always felt welcome and secure. Their days were filled with lessons, skating parties, and bonfires. The ghost stories they told were based upon the legend of the three sisters that died mysteriously in the lake. Until one year three deaths occurred that seemed to mirror the legend. Jane was the lucky one, she escaped into a scholarship to Vassar. Only now years later, her life is becoming unraveled and she feels the only way to make a living is to return to Heart Lake and her past. This first novel reminds me of Donna Tartt''s The Secret History and Christina Schwarz''s Drowning Ruth. The story weaves the past and present into a dreamy snow covered landscape that is evocative of the heroine''s mindset. The motto of the school sums it up quite nicely, cor te reduit, the heart leads you back. And that is the refrain running through to the stunning but satisfying conclusion.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top