Cormorant Lake by Faith Merino audiobook

Cormorant Lake: A Novel

By Faith Merino
Read by Lisa Flanagan

Blackstone Publishing 9781982640071
6.52 Hours 1
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    Available on 02/08/2022

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Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize On a cold November night, Evelyn Van Pelt steals her roommate’s two underfed and neglected little girls from their beds and drives to the northwestern hometown she fled fourteen years earlier—Cormorant Lake. There, hidden in the mountains and woods, dense with fog and the cold of winter, Evelyn grapples with the guilt of what she’s done, and as she attempts to reconcile her wild independence with the responsibilities of parenthood, she reconnects with the two women who raised her—her foster mother, Nan, and her biological mother, Jubilee. But by coming home, she has set in motion a series of events that will revive the decades-old tragedy that haunts Cormorant Lake—and lead her to confront the high cost of protecting her secret. At once fantastical and deeply rooted in the natural world, Faith Merino’s deeply affecting and spirited debut novel explores the shape of family, the enduring bonds of friendship, and the imperfections of motherhood—messy and beautiful, instinctive and learned, temporal but permanently life-altering.

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Summary

Summary

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize

Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

On a cold November night, Evelyn Van Pelt steals her roommate’s two underfed and neglected little girls from their beds and drives to the northwestern hometown she fled fourteen years earlier—Cormorant Lake. There, hidden in the mountains and woods, dense with fog and the cold of winter, Evelyn grapples with the guilt of what she’s done, and as she attempts to reconcile her wild independence with the responsibilities of parenthood, she reconnects with the two women who raised her—her foster mother, Nan, and her biological mother, Jubilee. But by coming home, she has set in motion a series of events that will revive the decades-old tragedy that haunts Cormorant Lake—and lead her to confront the high cost of protecting her secret.

At once fantastical and deeply rooted in the natural world, Faith Merino’s deeply affecting and spirited debut novel explores the shape of family, the enduring bonds of friendship, and the imperfections of motherhood—messy and beautiful, instinctive and learned, temporal but permanently life-altering.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Mystical…The author builds tension around the uncertain outcome of Evelyn’s rash decision to take the children and Nan’s increasingly dangerous interactions with Clare’s ghost.” Publishers Weekly
“Faith Merino’s debut novel is engrossing, haunting, and beautifully written. Fans of any genre will find something to enjoy here.” San Francisco Book Review (5 stars)
“Narrator Lisa Flanagan’s warm voice is perfect for this unsettling fictional exploration of the many manifestations of motherhood…Flanagan’s delivery of vivid imagery and her pacing of the story…also enhances this debut novel by creating well-crafted vocal characterizations.” AudioFile
“The novel demands close attention, evades tidy resolutions, and proves to be adept at capturing what it means to care for others, covering the sacrifices, pain, joy, and connections that such work involves. Filled with sharp observations, Cormorant Lake is a novel about families, both chosen and otherwise, in which broad realities exist in nice contrast with fantastical elements.” Foreword Reviews
“In Cormorant Lake, Faith Merino delivers a tough, touching, and quietly encouraging novel. Her prose is firm but nuanced and she is always insightful about the rough and ready world her characters inhabit, the conflicts and hopes and sad facts. Merino knows well both the shadows and the sun rays that dapple any life, and that makes for a very strong, even terrific, debut novel.” Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone
“Faith Merino’s Cormorant Lake denies our agreed-upon boundaries between past and present, between the living and the dead, in order to reveal the many insanities of motherhood. The psychic dangers of wanting a child, having a child, stealing a child, giving one away, or trying to keep one healthy, all in the face of poverty—this is the sea the women of Cormorant Lake swim in. Haunted and haunting, determined to bend time and reality, to never look away, this novel is brave and true and satisfyingly scary, as it reveals us to ourselves.” Pam Houston, author of Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country
“Cormorant Lake is a beautifully written, haunting story that blends the fantastical and the utterly real to explore complexities of motherhood, place, poverty, and, above all, the boundless strength of women.” Kimiko Guthrie, author of Block Seventeen
“This book is wonderfully dark and slippery—I loved how all the characters are haunted by motherhood both real and illusory, and how unsettled it made me feel while still being grounded in nature in all its harshness and in the exhausting struggle to keep going.” Claire Fuller, author of Swimming Lessons, Our Endless Numbered Days, and Bitter Orange
“Cormorant Lake has been called fantastical. But to me it reads as very real. It tells a story of generations of women who live without men. Parenting, husbanding, repairing their homes, caring for the sick and weak. Desiring. Women who haunt each other for what they’ve done and failed to do. Women who hurt their mothers, their children, their own minds and bodies, their friends. Women who try to hold their societies together by themselves. This darkly compelling debut mirrors a woman’s nightmares, and equally, her realities.” Katherine Forbes Riley, author of The Bobcat, long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize

Reviews

Reviews

by Nikka 2/5/2021
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Gorgeous imagery! Beautiful character development. Immediately transports the reader

Wow! The imagery and description in this book is incredible! In just a few words I was transported. The author uses unique and brilliant ways to create characters, setting, and set the overall ambience of the story. I felt like I was Immediately absorbed into the story, immediately invested in the characters and their well-being. There’s so much to relate to in the story; motherhood, childhood, friendship, neighbors. It is a story of humanity and love in all of it beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking forms.
by Winnie 1/29/2021
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Standout story!

This was the story I needed to kick off 2021. I couldn't put this book down and was caught in its rhythmic spell. This book understood motherhood, families, and relationships in a way that speaks to my own experience and was so utterly relatable. We are all so deeply lovable, and also so deeply flawed, and carry that through every mundane and remarkable moment of life. The author did a stellar job of creating rich characters that jump off the page. I especially loved the ending and how the story is intentionally directionless. After a year of unexpected changes, the ending feels true and honest.
by Lacey 1/28/2021
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Gripping story

Cormorant Lake was a gripping narrative with fascinating characters and thought-provoking themes. I loved the touch of witchcraft in modern motherhood; the frank acknowledgement of sexuality in motherhood; the look at motherhood through generations. The eldest character in this book, Nan, offers insight into the various generations, whose traumas and successes (often surprising!) complete the reader's picture of the past and its ties to the present.
I enjoyed being surprised by the character growth even from periphery characters. I especially enjoyed being made to hate a character and then getting to see that character's positive aspects. It reminded me in no small way of my own relationships, and brought a new appreciation of those things that do ultimately unite us.
Don't read this book if you dislike endings that make you think - you will be less than satisfied - but if you are gripped by the tale as I was, you may find the ending to be in the exact perfect spot--wanting more, but knowing that nothing further really needs to be said.
by Jennifer 1/19/2021
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An amazing evocative debut novel by Merino

An early read for me but bound to stay in my top of 2021 list. I stayed up all night solo parenting to finish it. And I can't wait for you all to read it too. Merino's writing blew me away. It's sparse but full of imagery and I could see everyone and every scene and feel the pain, betrayal, loneliness, and awkwardness to my core. As well as the love and connections and tenderness and interests too. This is a story of women, of daughters, of what connects us and binds us and what doesn't. You need to read Cormorant Lake.

Author

Author Bio: Faith Merino

Author Bio: Faith Merino

Faith Merino studied English at University of the Pacific and New York University. Her short fiction has won awards and honorable mentions from The Moth, the Jabberwock Review, Glimmer Train, and Boulevard, among others. A former journalist, she lives in Sacramento with her husband, sons, and dogs.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD, Hardcover, Paperback
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 6.52
Audience: Adult
Language: English