Book Review: Camp Lake (Carson Chronicles Book 5), John A. Heldt

Camp Lake Book Cover


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Phoenix, Spring 1983. For the Carsons, five siblings from the present day, it has come down to this. Find the parents they have chased through time for more than two years or go home and resume their lives without them.

While Adam and Greg remain in Arizona and Natalie searches the country for leads, Cody and Caitlin travel to a summer camp in Maine, where their mother and father met as counselors. The twins, now 19, hope to intercept the older versions of their parents even as they work beside the younger ones.

All of the Carsons prepare for a reunion that seems inevitable. Then tragedy strikes one family member and seductive strangers pull two others in unhelpful directions as a summer of promise turns into one of uncertainty and sacrifice.

Filled with humor, romance, and heartbreak, CAMP LAKE, the poignant conclusion of the Carson Chronicles series, follows the lives of several spirited adults as they confront choices and change the era of big hair, space shuttles, and video arcades.


Picking right up from where we left off in Caitlin’s Song we find the Carsons back home in Arizona trying to figure out their next moves in order to locate their long-missing parents. With two babies and a gaggle of people moving everyone seems contradictory, so they decide to split up in order to hopefully cover more ground.

This book reminds me a LOT of the Back to the Future movies where Marty McFly is trying desperately to return to 1985 and the adventures he encounters along the way.  Only this book is more similar to the first movie in that Caitlin, Cody and Dennis interact with the teen versions of Caroline and Tim while working at the camp where they met and fell in love in the summer of 1983.  While trying to figure out how to find the adult Caroline and Tim they are treading on very thin ice to make sure they don’t interrupt their parents’ meet-cute and romance in similar fashion to Marty with his parents.

I literally could NOT put this one away, once I started reading I wanted to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next, were the kids and their respective spouses going to ever find Tim & Caroline? How was this going to play out.  I stayed up way past my bedtime in order to answer those very questions and once again John did not disappoint.  I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next and what stories will follow these.  They will be good as this series has definitely been the best yet!

Five out of Five Stars for Camp Lake.

About the Author John A. Heldt

John Heldt

John A. Heldt is the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage and American Journey series. The former reference librarian and award-winning sportswriter has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, Heldt is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past.

Connect with John

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