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The weight of water by Anita Shreve
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The weight of water (original 1997; edition 1997)

by Anita Shreve

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2,993533,517 (3.61)128
A tale of marital intrigue. The protagonist is a woman photographer sent to investigate an old murder on an island. She takes along her husband, the husband's brother and the brother's girlfriend. Problems arise when the husband develops an interest in the other woman. By the author of Resistance.
Member:cj5402
Title:The weight of water
Authors:Anita Shreve
Info:London : Abacus, 1997
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The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (1997)

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English (50)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
I highly recommend this- a very entertaining and educational read. ( )
  lucylove73 | Aug 31, 2021 |
I remember being surprised at how much I liked a book by Anita Shreve. I think I had her pegged in the "B" class of fiction writers, a writer of "chicklit", "women's fiction". I suppose this could be called women's fiction, much as I hate that term, simply because it features a woman as the protagonist, who is propelled by emotion as much as by necessity. I prefer to consider it simply "fiction" or "literature". A book worth reading, by anyone.

Jean is a photographer sent on assignment to photograph the site of a crime committed over 100 years before. The site is on a rocky, lonely island called Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine. There Jean photographs the remains of a small cabin, from many angles. She did not simply arrive at the island and take photographs, however. She spent time digging up the history of the event, and even found a letter written many years later by the lone survivor of the murder. The details of the people who lived here well up in her brain and make her hesitate to return to the boat, where her husband, her young child, and the girlfriend of her husband's brother await.

A storm is brewing but she has to get these last shots. She has to work her way through the story of the murders. We read the letter along with her, in parts, as she investigates the site and considers the possibility that all is not well with her own marriage. Do the two relate to each other? I think they do. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
On New England's Isle of Shoals, two stories told: the 1873 double murder of two Norwegian immigrants and the family problems of the photographer who discovers a diary kept by the lone survivor of the mayhem. ( )
  christinedux | Jun 7, 2017 |
I am generally ambivalent about Anita Shreve's books. Usually, I really like parts of them but other parts - not so much. The Weight of Water is the same for me. Jean is a photojournalist on assignment to cover a 100 year old murder mystery that occurred on Smuttynose - an island off the coat of Maine. (I looked it up - this murder really occurred) Accompanying her are her husband, their small daughter, her brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Five people, occupying space on a small boat for an extended period of time - it magnifies any marital strain, any jealousy, any petty remarks. A storm is brewing.

The novel bounces back and forth between Jean and her life and the occupants of a very small home on the island of Smuttynose. Maren and her husband are Norwegian immigrants who, 100 years ago, shared their home with his brother and sister-in-law, her sister and the occassional long-term boarder. Five people, occupying space in a very small home for an extended period of time - it magnifies any marital strain, any jealousy, any petty remarks. A storm is brewing. Because of the weather, the men who earn their living on the sea are unable to return home for the night. Jean discovers a document written by Maren on her deathbed detailing the accounts of the night when an axe murderer entered the house and brutally killed Maren's sister and her sister-in-law while Maren hid in a cave outside the house.

The part of the book about the Norwegian settlers and the murders was extremely interesting. There has been speculation for the last 100 years whether the convicted murderer was indeed guilty. Shreve tells a compelling story in which she presents her version of the events leading up to the murders and what she feels happened. She paints a grim picture of the isolation of these women and the hardships of their daily lives. She also gives the women character and personality and I was interested in how they coped with their daily lives.

Unfortunately, I did not feel the same way about the modern group. I did not find that any of these characters had been fleshed out to the point where I cared whether their lives were grim or glamorous. The book is worth reading, however, for the 'historical' portion of it. ( )
  EvelynBernard | May 10, 2017 |
The writing is very good, but the structure and plotting is very bad. This book attempts to be 'literary' but the plotting and character development are very contrived. There are two parallel stories, and either one alone is really a good story with interesting characters and lots of fascinating facts. However, the stories don't really marry up, and just seem pasted together. Within each story, there were places where the plot or the characters' motivations just didn't work. Too bad. I think Shreve writes very well, but this book seems pasted together. Not one of her best.
  bjellis | Jan 25, 2015 |
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Anita Shreveprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cassidy, FrancesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A tale of marital intrigue. The protagonist is a woman photographer sent to investigate an old murder on an island. She takes along her husband, the husband's brother and the brother's girlfriend. Problems arise when the husband develops an interest in the other woman. By the author of Resistance.

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"I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case-an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women-Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of-actions with horrific consequences.
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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316780375, 0316782505, 0316789976

 

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