The Story of the Lake by Laura Chester

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At the turn of the century, Nogowogotoc Lake was considered the Newport of the Midwest, where some of the most affluent families from Milwaukee and Chicago spent their summers in luxurious "cottages" at the water's edge. The Story of the Lake weaves the tale of four of these families over the course of generations. With each decade another net of history, prejudice, love and intrigue is cast over the surface of the water, creating a more and more intricate pattern.

Joseph Ulrich of Kreuser Beer and his rival, "Pork Packing Prince" Walter Schraeger vie for the hand of Alicia Bosquet, flamboyant newcomer to the scene. Isabella Wells, the reclusive heiress to Milwaukee's finest department store, becomes dangerously involved with Margaret Sanger's early Planned Parenthood crusade, while her sister, Helen, tries to protest the end of Prohibition, a force too great to contend with in the beer loving city of Milwaukee.

This often dark and disturbing American drama is full of gusts of lake air, filling the senses with images and traditions that have mostly slipped away. A personal retelling of family secrets as well as a reflection of the times, The Story of the Lake, is the big passionate family saga that finally gives the Midwest its due.


 

About Laura Chester

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Laura Chester has published many volumes of poetry, prose and non-fiction. Most recently, Holy Personal, looking for small private places of worship, was made available from Indiana University Press, and a selection of prose-poems, Sparks, was published by The Figures. Both books include extensive photographs by Donna DeMari. Station Hill Press released an updated version of Lupus Novice, an account of Chester’s personal struggle and breakthrough with the auto-immune disease SLE, while Black Sparrow Press, published three of Chester’s early books of fiction. Other novels include The Story of the Lake, Faber & Faber; and Kingdom Come, Creative Arts Book Company. Chester has edited four important literary anthologies, including Deep Down and The Unmade Bed. She is currently completing a fifth, Eros & Equus, a passion for the horse. Having grown up in Wisconsin, lived in Albuquerque, Paris, and Berkeley, she now travels between Patagonia, Arizona and the Berkshires of Massachusetts.
 
Published April 1, 2011 by Faber & Faber. 382 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Along the way there are many violent deaths--Dana Hewitt's second husband, a Jew, is shot by the local fascists, Wally Schraeger dies in a plane crash, Colin is murdered by a terrified prostitute;

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