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Is Gone-Away Lake THE best book or only like in the top 2?

Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright. A girl and her cousin go exploring on their summer vacation and find a ghost town of summer houses from the turn of the century, as well as two elderly people who grew up there and are the last holdouts. They mainly tell the girl and the cousin (whose name might be Julian?) stories about growing up there.

I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I love Gone-Away Lake. I loved it when I was ten and I love it now.


there's some bullshit "good" cover now, but this is
the only one I will accept

Tales of the past! Backstory! All that stuff! And they explore old houses! I grew up in the country, and while we weren't so isolated that we could potentially find a whole group of hidden houses, there was a lot of creek-exploring and thicket-roaming, so we could imagine we were so isolated we could potentially find a whole group of hidden houses. The two main characters' wandering about without parents was very familiar, since everyone knew everyone in my community. (and told us to stop going in their creek because it was dangerous, but it was a CREEK, like I'm not gonna explore that shit)

This book is also how I learned what a philosopher's stone was. It also has wonderful illustrations throughout.

philosopher's stone! and knickerbockers!

Knowing much more about my likes and habits now, I'm confident a good amount of my love for this book comes from the detail put into the stories about the objects and histories of the people in them. Almost all of my favorite books do things like reference "Mammoth Cave chewing tobacco" and just get very specific in their descriptions, and OH how I love it.

This is possibly (entirely) why Jeanette Winterson and I have never gotten along. Jeanette Winterson wouldn't even tell you there was chewing tobacco; she'd vaguely hint around it and eventually you'd be like "oh THAT'S what they're chewing, oh I see."

Everyone read this book and buy it for 10-year-olds. It is the best.

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