Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Legends of the Lake by Philip Nork

This a quaint story about a family, the Krons, and their generational memories starting with the great grandparents to the last generation's character, beginning in the earlier 1900’s and concluding in 1984,  describing their colorful life details and  traditions, ending with the character coming back on his 50th birthday to relish the lasting memories of his past.

It opens with Great Grandpa Kron and his dream to purchase a cottage. It is a warm story about a generational family history starting out in the early 1900's and begins with the great grandfather's travels from Chicago to Wisconsin. It describes his accomplishments along the way for himself and his family’s future success, such as leaving behind a property for others to benefit from...  The great grandfather was presented with a deal from a land broker to buy land to build a house upon and he purchases it to begin his new life. 

The story continues in a comforting style about the great grandfather and the next in line visiting the cottage and creating memories. It starts with Eddie and his wife Connie planning their lives and how they purchased the cottage and how it was built. The obstacles they faced preparing to relocate from Chicago to Wisconsin and set up a family summer retreat, later it became their retirement paradise.

As a reader I would describe this as a quaint story about one family's life and their traditions of one family’s memories of gathering together every summer to enjoy each other’s company. It continues with glimpses of each character’s memories throughout the timeline of the early 1900’s to the late 1980's. It speaks of speakeasy and prohibition, the baseball teams, the depression and other events that took place during the 20th century.

The author writes details about getting their first car, building and enjoying the cottage, the three children and their children and so on. It explores the ideal country life they lived and continues with the next generation’s events and etc. He tells about the progression of the growth of the community and outlines interesting historical facts of events that may have changed the course of history.

The author in his unique style describes vivid scenes of the Wisconsin countryside, the smell of fresh cut grass, the old fashioned traditions of sitting on the porch drinking lemonade with a mint leaf and the summer antics of a large family gathered in one place. Also speaks of the daily interaction between members sharing their times of maturity and life lessons. The story continues into the 1940's to the 1950's describing the family and their events as they gather together for family outings.
In the author's words

"This was how the summer weekends were spent in Wisconsin throughout the years of the early 1950’s. But later in the decade, something would happen which would change the Kron family forever."
The story continues that a great business opportunity was lost, then there was the family argument that separate three cousins and changed the family traditions at the cottage for a while.

The author touches upon historical discoveries and facts the family members experienced in their maturing years and explores taboo subjects.

This reader would describe this book as a lazy Sunday drive through time, involving generational memories and  shares the joy and sorrows of the legends of the lake, until the late 1980's when the last of the family lineage passed on and the family decided to sell the cottage.

In a summary this is a gentleman's flashback of his past and  how much one takes everyday rituals for granted and then when everyone passes on, all they have are the memories to draw upon. He describes subconsciously, the mind is like a camera and the photos of life flash through, stored deep in the cervices to keep one warm and peaceful.  Also to appreciate every moment, to live it to the fullest, for life is too short and one should appreciate their loved ones and create memories to wrap around one in their later years while sitting on a porch drinking cold lemonade and watched the sun set setting over the countryside.

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