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The Memory of Water by Karen White

The Memory of Water (edition 2008)

by Karen White

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Title:The Memory of Water
Authors:Karen White
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The Memory of Water by Karen White




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Karen White is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her latest book, The House on Tradd Street [review], was an amazingly written book that was as gripping as it was beautiful. The Memory of Water is equally as haunting, and though I didn't enjoy it quite as much as The House on Tradd Street, I still thought it was an excellent novel.

The setting of the book is in the Lowcountry marshes of South Carolina. White does an amazing job describing the locale. Though I have never visited the area, I have a vivid picture of it in my head from White's descriptions. They are as beautiful as they are haunting.

White is also a master at building suspense. She manages to keep the reader hooked throughout the novel without giving out too much information. The disquieting feeling her novels evokes in the reader is reminiscent of Carol Goodman, whose virtues I have previously extolled in this blog. [Review of The Night Villa][Review of The Drowning Tree]

The character of Marnie was extremely well written; she had many ghosts of her own that she had to face. Diana was a little more difficult. She was very difficult to sympathize with, and the way she treated Marnie was disappointing at best and cruel at worst. When the mystery is finally revealed at the end of the book, Diana moves even further away from the reader.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Memory of Water. It had a little bit of everything - mystery, character development, a wonderful setting, and the connections of family. I'd definitely recommend it to other readers and can't wait to pick up another one of her novels.

From S. Krishna's Books ( )
  skrishna | Nov 29, 2008 |
The story starts with Marnie coming back to her childhood home, after a call from her sister’s ex-husband. His wife and son have been involved in a sailing accident, and Gil is traumatised, and refusing to speak. As Marnie is a special needs teacher, he hopes that she can help him.

As Marnie sets about doing just this, she also has to deal with the relationship she now has with her sister. Once close, they haven’t spoken for ten years, following their own traumatic boat trip with their mother. This story is slowly unravelled, along with the present one.

Karen explores many family relationships within this book, with the strongest being between the two sisters. All the characters are strongly written, with Diana being the most complex.. and frustrating! One of the major issues is how bipolar (manic depression) can have such a profound effect, not only on those affected, but those around them too.

This is the third book recently that I’ve read to explore this condition.. they are all very different, but the central themes remain the same. All three are up there amongst my favourites.
1 vote michelle_bcf | Jun 7, 2008 |
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This book is dedicated to the original Highfalutin and to all those who lost so much in Hurricane Katrina
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For thousands of years, the Atlantic Ocean has beat against the beach of my childhood, its watery fingers stealing more and more of the soft silted sand, grabbing at the estuaries and creeks of the South Carolina Lowcountry, leaving us with the detritus of old forests, battered dunes, and bleeding loss.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451223039, Paperback)

On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.

After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:39 -0400)

Many years after her mother's death by drowning, Marnie Maitland returns to the South Carolina Lowcountry when a similar incident involving her estranged sister Diana and Diana's young son forces the sisters to revisit their troubled past.

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