The Lake Season

A Novel

The Lake Season

Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” (Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author) novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.

Iris Standish has always been the responsible older sibling: the one with the steady marriage, loving family, and sensible job. But all of a sudden, as her carefully-constructed life spins out of her control, a cryptic postcard from her estranged sister Leah arrives at the perfect time: Please Come. Iris seizes her chance to escape to her childhood lakeside home, where Leah is planning her summer wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met.

Against a backdrop of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Leah hides secrets of her own. And while her sister faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say good-bye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As new love beckons and Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive—and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors in this enticing novel of second chances and the ties that bind.
  • Atria/Emily Bestler Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476777641 | 
  • June 2015
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Lake Season includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.



Iris and Leah Standish have never quite seen eye to eye. As sisters growing up on Hampstead Lake, Iris would carefully dip her toe in the water as Leah dove in headfirst. In high school, Iris focused quietly on her studies as Leah threw herself into the social scene. Twenty years later, Iris has a big house in the suburbs with her lawyer husband and three children as Leah bounds back from her cross-country adventures with a successful and charming fiancée on her arm. But behind Iris’ picture perfect life is a crumbling marriage, and Leah’s bright plans for her fairy-tale wedding are threaded with doubt, and a dark secret.

It only takes one hot, New England summer to unravel everything that Iris and Leah think they know about each other. For despite their incongruent paths, the Standish sisters both find themselves back in their childhood home, dangerously close to losing everything. The Lake Season is a stunning testament to the intricate and sometimes tenuous bonds of sisterhood and family.


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Articles About This Book

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Posted on XOXO After Dark

Posted by Kate Dresser

As any voracious reader knows, there are so many books out there, it can be hard to choose just what to read next. So what could be better than a hand-picked recommendation from someone in the know? Every Wednesday the XOXOAD team likes to find...

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About the Author

Hannah McKinnon
Photograph by TK

Hannah McKinnon

Hannah McKinnon is the author of The Lake Season, Mystic Summer, The Summer House, and Sailing Lessons. She graduated from Connecticut College and the University of South Australia. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens, and two rescue dogs.