On Mystic Lake Summary
Kristin Hannah

Everything you need to understand or teach On Mystic Lake by Kristin Hannah.

  • On Mystic Lake Summary & Study Guide

On Mystic Lake Summary

Returning to a literal or spiritual home to recover a lost self is a common literary theme. Hannah emphasizes the idea of losing and finding oneself through her repeated references to silence, disappearance, and invisibility. The child Izzy serves as the most obvious representative of this theme; silent since her mother's suicide and convinced that her fingers are becoming invisible, Izzy symbolically reenacts the disappearance of her mother into death.

Annie's instinctive understanding of Nick and Izzy's grief is partially tied to her own experiences of loss—of her mother, her marriage, and her sense of self. Annie knows about "mothers who disappeared one day and never came back" and sympathizes with the daughter "who no longer spoke and the father who had no idea what to say." Annie helps Izzy to see that she cannot follow her mother; as a result of Annie's love and insight...

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