The Lake Of Dreams

41D1ePYtObL._SL500_AA300_.jpgI was thrilled to be chosen to review Kim Edwards’s new book, The Lake of Dreams, for BlogHer Book Club.

Well, I think we can safely say that I won’t have any problem reading 101 books for 101 in 1001… this makes 50! And I have to say, I’m very grateful that The Lake of Dreams is my “midway-through-the-challenge” book. It has been a long time since a book has gotten a 5 star rating from me. This is the first since July! (Isn’t Goodreads handy?)

Lucy’s search into her family history and her reflections on how the past affects her in the present were fascinating. I loved the contrast and similarities between Lucy’s present-day story and her long-forgotten ancestor’s.

I think many recent graduates and young professionals could identify with the way Lucy felt coming home after a long time away to find that everything had changed. Throughout the story, Lucy struggles to let go of the past and appreciate the way time and life have changed her family, friends and hometown. She fights her brother as they debate the difference between running away from a painful past and staying put, working through a tragedy and taking life as it comes to them.

And, bonus! The story takes place in a fictional town in the Finger Lakes region. As a fairly new resident of Ithaca, I enjoyed spotting the references to the lakes, towns and landmarks of the area.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5. See more of my book reviews here.

{Disclosure: This was a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.}

Mulled Red Wine

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On New Year’s Eve last year, Dan, Josh and I spent the evening at the bluegrass show at the Living Room in New York City. The special that evening was mulled wine; fruity red wine filled with spices and garnished with orange slices.

Ever since, I’ve been looking for an excuse to recreate that mulled wine. Christmas parties seem like the perfect opportunity, no? Alternatively, it can be sipped while you decorate the tree. Or while you watch the best Christmas movie of all time, White Christmas. Or while you watch my second favorite, Elf. Or, you know, a random Wednesday in winter.

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Mulled Red Wine

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 glasses

Mulled Red Wine

This recipe is easily doubled for a party. Any dry red wine will work…even the cheap stuff. I chose to use a fruity Shiraz, but feel free to play around with it and find a wine that works for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 750-mL bottle of dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup triple sec
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium orange, thinly sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 whole allspice berries

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on High for 30 minutes. Stir and turn to the Warm setting. Serve warm garnished with orange slices or cinnamon sticks.
http://www.savvyeat.com/mulled-red-wine/