Tom Lake - Ann Patchett

Tom Lake

By Ann Patchett

  • Release Date: 2023-08-01
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 2,363 Ratings



In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America’s finest writers.

“Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature.” —The Guardian

In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.


  • One of the Most Boring Books Ever

    By Siobhan N
    This is a seriously boring book, with the most boring characters. It was like reading the story of one of the two ladies in the SNL NPR skit. There is no way children would be that interested in their parent’s past.
  • Meh!

    By Schlintz
    No development of the characters or real insight into their behavior. The premise borders on the ridiculous - daughters hanging on their mother’s every word for details about her personal life? Most of us can’t get our kid to call us every two weeks. The NYC ending is just wacky. I felt like I was laboring through it, committed to finishing only because it was a book club read.
  • Patchett usually delivers a better novel

    By The Best Book
    Not as compelling or interesting or well written as her other novels. Basically, a mother telling her daughters about her coming of age summer. Good story, not more than 3 stars.
  • It was ok

    By LizzieFLA3
    Beautiful writing, interesting concept, moved slow, unconvincing ending. You won’t be sorry you read it, but you won’t likely be moved by it either.
  • Beautiful writing and story!!

    By Shaye bae bae
    I loved the story of the summer of 2020 and had a similar experience with my family and felt so thankful that summer. This book captures that and the love story of Duke and “Emily”. A couple of woke messages about climate change bothered me but besides that I loved every minute of it. I do know our climate is changing but it always is in a state of change. She pulls you out of the story a bit adding that story line in. It wasn’t needed.
  • Makes you reflect on your life

    By Read4joy
    Makes you reflect on your life the could would and the should.
  • Must read

    By brock_zahler
    Oh my goddddd I loved this book. Fantastic. No notes. It’s like a big warm hug. It’s like every Nancy Meyers movie rolled into a book. I pictured Meryl Streep as the narrator and I’d highly recommend doing that. Such a perfect book to start the new year with. I’ve always loved Ann’s writing, but I’ll be sure to make a conscious effort to read more this year. Made me laugh! Made me cry! The family dynamics and the storytelling are impeccable. Read this book!
  • Perfect read

    By CadensGrammyGina
    Captivated until the very end.
  • Tedious, overrated

    By tura-not-happy
    So much obsession by a middle-aged woman with an old boyfriend who sounds dreadfully self-absorbed, neglectful and boring. The final chapters were rushed - perhaps Pachette also lost interest - and the so-called reveal was underwhelming. Very disappointed I spent any time with this.
  • Tom Lake

    By YayaNetski
    Tom Lake is a place where young adults seeking a dream come together one summer.They find more than they are looking for. One goes off to stardom . One finds a home and builds a family.