BOOK REVIEW: The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve


Review by Ryder Islington

Oh, my ! What a great read! Okay, I know I’m not supposed to use more than a couple of exclamation points a year in my writing, but really, I love this book!

Jean is a photographer assigned to get some shots of Smuttynose, an island that is part of the archipelago called The Isle of Shoals, off the coast of Maine,  where two murders took place in 1873. As the story unfolds, we learn about Jean, her husband Thomas, and daughter, Billie. We meet her brother-in-law, Rich, whose boat they take to the island,  and his girlfriend, Adeline.  And we learn about the victims of the murders, and their families. A deep forboding strikes me a few chapters in as I begin to realize that something terrible is coming. in both stories.

I was not disappointed. As truth came to the surface, I was gripped by the story and couldn’t put the book down. I was surprised with the final scene, which rarely happens for a reader and writer of mysteries.  Near the beginning, Jean poses this question: “I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?” Both stories are compelling, one told by Jean in 1995, the other told by the trial transcripts, and other documents of 1873.

This is a literary tale with all the mystery of Sherlock Holmes. I would recommend it to those who love words. Yes, the scope of this story is that broad. Just be prepared to spend the day deep in the story, because once you start, you won’t want to stop.

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One comment on “BOOK REVIEW: The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve

  1. emaginette says:

    I’m in. I love a good mystery. 🙂

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