Friday, August 6, 2010

Rules of the Lake - Irene Ziegler


Back at the beginning of the summer, I reviewed Irene Ziegler's new release "Ashes to Water", a mysterature that was drenched in old Florida atmosphere. I experienced something close to love at first sight with the story's protagonist, Annie Bartlett, a damaged woman with a strong sense of justice. While the book stood on its own, I knew that Ziegler had written a prequel, entitled "Rules of the Lake", that delved into Annie's childhood and the ghosts she acquired as a result. I knew I HAD to read this - I needed insight into Annie's psyche. Before I was able to use my birthday money to buy it though, Ziegler sent me a copy (thank you!). I squirreled it into my bags for my trip to Indiana. I might just miss my southern, humid, bug-infested home, after all!

"Rules of the Lake" is a collection of separate events in Annie's life that define her...her parents' unhappy marriage, her father's abusive personality, her mother's suicide, her fascination with mermaids (we have them in Weeki Wachee, you know), her molestation from a neighbor, her relationship with her troubled older sister, and her love of water and the lake in her backyard.

Again, Ziegler has hit the nail on the head in creating an essence of old Florida, and blends it with the nostalgic, bittersweet childhood of a young girl. (A young girl that comes back as an adult in "Ashes to Water" and kicks a little butt, which is oh so satisfying.) If you can't afford to go plodding around in untouched, backwater Florida, then this is the next best thing.

I am also compelled to take a slight, superficial detour. Guys, this book cover! I've uploaded an extra large version so you can see. I can't stop staring at the blending of the colors, and the mesmerizing representation of the unseen, non-Disney Florida. If I could frame it and hang it on my wall, I would. The signature says "Vige", but I can't seem to find any information on the artist. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

If you want to take a trip to the unspoiled South, without the strife of heat and mosquitoes and tourists, this is your best bet. You will thank me later!

4 out of 5 stars

15 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks said...

That's funny what you said about the cover and framing it, because that is EXACTLY what I thought first thing on seeing your post!

Irene Ziegler said...

Thanks for this beautiful review, Sandy. Aside from my family, you may be the first person to read both books! I'll see what I can find out about the artist from SMU Press. *Please hold.* Irene

bermudaonion said...

That cover really caught my eye too! The book sounds so good! It's nice to see a book about the "Southern" part of Florida.

Trisha said...

I can't tell you how much I wanted to be a mermaid when I was a kid. Seriously, years and years of wishing and acting like I was one in my grandparents' pool. Actually, I'd still like to be one. Okay, that's what you get for mentioning mermaids... As for the book, it sounds excellent. And not just because of the mermaids.

The Bumbles said...

So in this instance, you CAN judge a book by its cover ;0)

Zibilee said...

That cover is great! My eye went right to it and lingered there as soon as I opened your page. I think these books sound fascinating. I have to admit that books about Florida really catch my interest, and that fact that you loved this one so much really does a lot to highlight these books on my radar. Thanks for the great review. I will be looking out for these!

Darlene said...

The first thing I noticed was the incredible book cover! I may just have to read these books one of these days.

heidenkind said...

The cover is gorg! You should see if they list the artist on the back and look them up on the intrawebz.

Nymeth said...

The cover really is wonderful! And I also love the sound of the book.

Melissa M said...

Both books sounds really good! I haven't read much set in the South and these sound like a great place to start.

Jenners said...

This book cover should be framed!! It is just gorgeous!

Alyce said...

Part of the reason I clicked over to read the review was because of that cover. It really does catch the eye.

Iliana said...

That is a wonderful cover! I don't think I've read many books set in Florida so this sounds like it'd be a great way to vacation there - as you said, without any of the yucky stuff :)

caite said...

Wait...there was a Florida before Disney? Really??

as to the book...you know I take your recommendations seriously. So..do you recommend reading this one first now, before "Ashes to Water"?

Beth F said...

Beautiful cover! And the book sounds good too.