Tom Lake - Ann Patchett

Tom Lake

By Ann Patchett

  • Release Date: 2023-08-01
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4
From 1,056 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.


  • Great book

    By Cut wood
    The writing is wonderful, as are the characters. We’ll worth the time.
  • Stilted

    By CeeStor
    Writing stilted. Author wrote for herself, not really shareable. Key plot unraveled too slow, then too fast. Big let down. Ugh
  • girly book

    By Swan S.
    But well written enough. Surprised that I finished it.
  • A slow but worthwhile burn

    By RUCster
    It took a while for me to get sucked in to this book, but, by the end, I couldn’t put it down. A very worthwhile read!
  • Sensitive and thought provoking

    By Terwatina
    Loved the story and the main characters. When I finished reading this book, I had to watch “Our Town” on YouTube. I chose an excellent version with Paul Newman as the Stage Manager.
  • In Need of a Better Edit

    By brendastarr
    Ann Patchett is a marvelous writer and I’ve loved many of her previous books. Tom Lake could have been improved by a clearer edit. The first 100 or so pages are slow. We don’t get to key plot points until p. 170 or so, and then all kinds of revelations are dropped into the final chapters. The pacing could have been improved, as well as the character development. It’s also clear as soon as we meet Duke that he will break Lara’s heart and his reckless behavior signals eventual tragedy. I was dying to know more about Joe, who was way more interesting than Duke, and he seems two-dimensional. A miss for me, although it will be a huge best seller.
  • Tom Lake

    By Readingbythesea
    Loved the story, does not move fast, good brach read.
  • Just what I needed

    By ElaineT2
    This is a beautiful book that, to me, ultimately is a reminder to accept past decisions and appreciated the life I’m living as the result. There is beauty everywhere and no time for regret.
  • Pace yourself

    By trdurant
    Beautiful. Not a page turner but beautifully written. She writes with such detail, you can see and feel it all.
  • Loved it

    By rugby4752
    Couldn’t put it down.