Wishing for something more than her adventureless life, 16-year-old Ash eagerly awaits the move she and her mother are taking from their dull, drab life in the prairie town of Treade. But as Ash counts the days, she finds her way into a mysterious, condemned building on the outskirts of town—one that has haunted her entire childhood with secrets and questions. What she finds inside is an untouched library, inhabited by an enchanting mute named Li. Brightened by Li’s charm and his indulgence in her dreams, Ash becomes locked in a world of dusty books and dying memories, with Li becoming the attachment to Treade she never wanted. This haunting and romantic debut novel explores the blurry boundary between the real and imagined with a narrative that illustrates the power and potency of literacy.
S. M. Beiko holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Manitoba and this is her first novel. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"Part fairy story and part ghost story, The Lake and the Library is a satisfying fantasy novel with enough suspense and mystery to keep the reader guessing. Recommended for school and public libraries." —CM: Canadian Review of Materials (March 2013)
"Beiko delivers a clever, interesting plot." —Kirkus Reviews (April 2013)
"The Lake and the Library is not just about a girl wishing to leave a dull life behind and finding excitement in a place that seems too good to be true, it’s an analogy of what books do, in general. They take us to places where dreams come true, where we can interact in fantasy worlds, and where spirits become real. The Library holds such magic for Ash…I found the story fascinating." —Susan Rocan, My Wither Shins
"The Lake and the Library could be called a tribute to the power of books, and it is certainly an auspicious first novel by a new Winnipeg author." —Helen Norrie, Winnipeg Free Press