Book: The Secret Lake by Karen Ingliscategories: Book, Action, Adventure, Kidsbook, Time Travel, Kidlit, Mystery Adventure, Historical Fiction, Fantasy Children's Story, Tweens, Adventure Story, Mystery Story, Time-Slip Story, Children's Book
Karen Inglisabout this book: The Secret Lake is a 'time-slip' mystery adventure for children aged 8-11 years.
Stella (11) and Tom (8) have just moved to London from Hong Kong. Their new home backs onto one of one of the vast communal gardens of Notting Hill, where there is a grumpy gardener, Charlie Green who seems to have it in for Tom and is always telling him off for digging up the molehills.
The children soon discover that a little long-haired terrier belonging to their elderly neighbor, Mrs Moon, keeps disappearing - often for days at a time. It's the summer holidays and they decide to use their free time to find out where he goes.
Their search for Harry leads them to a tunnel that leads down to a secret lake – where they see a young boy dressed in strange clothes frantically rowing in their direction. Very soon Tom and Stella discover that they have traveled back in time to their home and its gardens 100 years in the past. Here they meet the children living in their past-time home - they make both friends and enemies in past time and soon find themselves in deeper trouble than they could have imagined...
Themes and Inspiration for The Secret Lake
The Secret Lake is about friendship and loyalty across time - and about bravery. It was inspired when some friends moved to one of the apartments in London's Notting Hill that backs onto the rambling communal gardens there. When I saw the children running freely around in those gardens – making dens and playing hid and seek - it reminded me of the freedom I had roaming the countryside as a young child. Looking at the vast houses all around, I couldn't help wondering what it would be like if the children from the present day could meet the children who had lived in those great homes and played in those gardens 100 years earlier.
The lake in story – seen on the book's front cover - was inspired by a pond in a wood called 'Isabella Plantation', in London's Richmond Park. We used to take our boys there when they were young - it has the same magical feel as the gardens of Notting Hill and children can run around there safely. In May it is filled with the most beautiful crimson pint azaleas, which all reflect in the water – and this provided the backdrop for my story.
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