By Joe Basara
Cypress Lake is a coming of age story about a young man named Owen Cloud. Owen starts work at a local hospital where he often wonders if the girls he works with are interested in him. Owen has a fantastic way of seeing things intensely, he even keeps a journal about his life, under a different name of course. Owen considers himself a homely boy, and although he is in his 20′s, he hasn’t had much luck with the ladies. In Cypress Lake, Owen experiences close relationships with three women, each of whom exposes him to some facet of love.
Basara does an excellent job of bringing local Florida color into the story, and brings the 70′s back to life during Owen’s tale. The story is a bit slow at first, but the deep emotions of Own are peeled back like an onion, one layer at a time. When Owen’s parents are killed in an accident, he finds a deep connection with Marianne Miramar and while he has his doubts initially about her intentions, he comes to find that she loves him as he is, even if he is homely. In Marianne he finds hope for the family he has lost. Throughout Cypress Lake we get to know Owen, maybe better than he knows himself and while the story can drag a bit at times, it is a fascinating journey that in the end is enjoyable.