Today I would like to give you a little taste of Lost Lake by Emily Littlejohn. Two things initially attracted me to this book: the cover (can’t you just feel what is about to happen!), and the fact that it is recommended to fans of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache novels (Booklist), which I adore.
Something wakes her in the early hours.
Beyond the flimsy nylon walls of the tent , it is still dark. They went to bed after midnight, so she guesses it is four or five in the morning. The sun will rise soon and with it another day . Another breakfast, another hike, another lunch, another fight.
She listens and realises the sounds of the lake have changed. Gone is the gentle wind moving through the trees. The bullfrog has stopped his belligerent croak. The ice, cracking against the shore, has settled down.
It was the silence that woke her.
She sits up slowly, careful not to disturb Mac. He lies on his his back, one hand resting on his stomach, the other hidden in the depths of his sleeping bag. Mac looks like a little boy in sleep: his lips slightly parted, the faintest scowl line across his strong brow.
She hopes he is having a nightmare.
Then she feels bad, and wonders if the baby will have his strong brow, his red hair.
She wonders if she cares.
She gently untangles herself from the sleeping bag and then from the tent. Slipping on her boots, leaving them untied, she stands, stretching, scanning the campsite by the little light that remains of the waning moon. She stares for a moment at the red tent pitched fifteen feet away, on the opposite side of the still smouldering camp-fire pit.
The two people inside the red tent were strangers yesterday; she wonders if the wine and weed and close quarters of the night have left them better acquainted.
Nothing would surprise her any more.
She walks to the edge of the camp-site, and stares down at the dark, still water, not daring to go any closer.
The air is freezing and she shivers. She hugs herself and looks at the far shoreline. There was a campfire last night, across the water. She is sure of it; she saw the smoke. She wonders who else is here, who else is mad enough to spend the night on this still frozen ground along the shores of this icy lake.
She moves slowly, heading back toward the warmth of her sleeping bag.
The silence remains.