In the Lake of the Woods

In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien
Tim O'Brien
2
Apr 4, 2022

In the Lake of the Woods is a novel that takes the reader through a series of flashbacks to tell the story of John Wade, a wannabe American politician who served in the Vietnam War. His story includes the disappearance of his wife Kathy Wade, and throughout the story the reader is given information about her disappearance to indicate whether or not John played a part in it. John wants a fulfilling life for him and his wife, which he believes can be achieved through getting elected into the US Senate. Unfortunately for John, his past prevents him from achieving this goal and ultimately his previous experiences play a major role in the disaster that becomes his life. In an effort to get what he wants, John serves in the war and tries to be a loving man towards Kathy once he is back from serving, but events transpire and don’t unfold how John would like them to, creating obstacles in his marital relationship and career field. At the end, the author offers the readers final information on Kathy’s disappearance and what happened to her and John.

The most compelling aspect to me was the mystery component. I love mysteries and was extremely interested in learning about if John had anything to do with Kathy’s disappearance and what all went down in relation to that. The title also grabbed my attention and immediately had me curious about the story itself. I was disappointed by the end because the book had built up an engrossing plot that had me invested in the mystery’s answer, but sadly that answer wasn’t given. The book had me confused lots of times because it used flashbacks to describe the main events, meaning as the reader I had to piece together the timeline. However, I was intrigued by some of the things that happened and it made me want to read more to learn why those things were important. I would recommend this book be read by people 18+ because there are some graphic scenes in the book, as well as some difficult topics to process, so I would just want people to be aware. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book because I didn’t like the end and felt as though I had invested my time into a book that wasn’t worth it. If piecing together evidence and information that a story gives you, is what you like, then this book is for you. If you’re like me and prefer knowing the exact ending/answer to what happened, I wouldn’t read this one.

Written by
Bridget B.

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