Author: Anne Berry
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
WHAT WILL DESTROY ONE CHILD WILL BE THE MAKING OF ANOTHER. From the icy banks of a secluded country pond to the fevered core of a historic London heat wave and immersion in an abandoned underwater village in the Tuscan mountains, four young people—each of whose lives has been irrevocably altered by water— converge in this brilliantly plotted drama of passion, betrayal, revenge, and redemption. Owen is haunted by nightmares of the Merfolk. He believes they have stolen his little sister, who vanished while he was meant to be watching her on the beach. But he was only a child himself. Is it fair for his mother to have blamed him all these years? Catherine’sperfect Christmas was ruined when she went skating on a frozen pond with her cousin and the other girl nearly died. Yet it is Catherine who feels, as she says, “permanently trapped under the ice.” Sean grew up on a farm in Ireland. Learning to swim in the River Shannon was his way of escaping the bitter poverty of his childhood, but communing with the river spirits incurred his superstitious father’s wrath. Naomi never feared the water. She was orphaned, cruelly abused, and the sea offered a cleansing balm; she reveled in the ocean’s power. But Naomi has another secret buried deep within her, and during one searing hot summer she will be the catalyst for the coming together—and tearing apart—of the water children.
I'm just going to dive right into my thoughts on this one because I honestly can't tell you much more about the story than the synopsis does without giving away crucial points. Besides, I think you are able to get the gist of it from above.
I am always pulled towards stories that involve water in some way. Perhaps because I am a bit terrified of water myself, I'm not sure. When I came across the Goodreads giveaway for The Water Children, I was enthusiastic. The story is not just based on one water event, but four. Bonus! Thankfully, I was a lucky winner in the giveaway and I got reading as soon as I received the book. However, what started out as a promising read quickly became somewhat of a chore to read.
I think I will start off with what I liked about this book. Not only did it involve the water events, but it also had family drama, abuse and plenty of stressful situations to make my heart race. The chapters alternated between characters, and I was anxious to see how they were all going to connect. I was pleased with the character progression and where the story went, for the most part.
However, even though I did find myself interested in the world of these four unlucky people, I just couldn't immerse myself as much as I would have liked. The story was interesting and yes I did enjoy that part, but I felt like it took forever to get there. This book is only a little over 300 pages yet it took me nearly two weeks to finish it. I often found myself thinking I must have read at least thirty pages, but no, it was only five. I just didn't enjoy the author's writing style. It was almost as if, and I mean no disrespect to the author in any way, she sat down with a thesaurus and changed every third word to something more fancy than need be, and then added another three or four descriptive words:
"He conjures cypress trees, tall and swarthy, tickling a sky streaked with violet. He sees fields felted with scarlet corn poppies and sucks in air clotted with spiky, black-and-cream, swallow-tailed butterflies. He sees vanilla stained the color of the ochre earth, hugged by lemon trees. The soporific scents of rosemary and wild thyme assail him, along with the lulling drone of drowsy bumblebees. He does not see the sunlight diluted in the gloom of Lake Vagli, dappling the moss-cloaked walls of the drowned village" page 182
Is it just me? I just couldn't get passed it. Unfortunately, this really did take a lot away from the story, which I found quite promising. So if you are looking for a heavier read or you prefer very descriptive novels, this is for you.