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Bodies of Water

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  799 ratings  ·  164 reviews
In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape--from her husband's demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2013)
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When aging Billie receives a phone call from Johnny, once her next door neighbor’s little boy, now a grown man with problems of his own, she is forced to recall the love of her life and how it ended in tragedy.

Before I even discuss the actual story, I really really need you to know that Bodies of Water is so crazy good that three things happened to me:

I had to stop and catch my breath three quarters of the way through because the heartache was so intense. (Readers, you know that
My very close friend from Jr. High School, said *****READ THIS BOOK****! We are friends for more than 40 years.

I'm thankful and love my friend. Lisi was always reading as a child.
I just wanted to talk about BOYS. Go to school dances together, to dance with BOYS.
Cook BBQ chicken wings.
Talk with Boys on the phone for hours during our sleep-overs.
I wanted to wear her cute clothes....(she always let me).
We had many wild - fun - crazy adventures ---camping with BOYS.
Growing up with Lisi was FUN!

i am truly blown away.
GREAT author.

favorite lines:

-memory is the same as water. it can hold you up or pull you under.

-this terrible limbo, this purgatory of waiting...

-though i had my doubts about God, i did always feel at peace inside churches. there is something undeniably calming about all that collective reverence. i could see how faith might entice people, how the promise of something better than this life could provide respite for the weary.

-the secret to happiness is counting your ble
T. Greenwood has created a heart-breaking love story that will resonate in my mind for a very, very long time. Her characters are vibrant and believable in both their love and their cruelty. While it's set in the late 50s and early 60s, there are so many issues that still, sadly, stand today. This is not a typical love story, and it will make you angry, sad, joyous, confused, afraid, misty-eyed and disgusted no matter what side of the issues you identify with. I don't want to tell you more, I wa ...more
I was born in 1960 so it is somewhat hard for me to comprehend how women lived by the rules and mores of that time...before we 'burnt the bra' so to speak. Husbands made all the rules, wives stayed home, and married, because that is what was expected of them and they didn't question their husbands regardless of whether they were good men, or bad. Wives didn't work outside the home as a rule, but the work in the home was by far more exhausting...the floors were cleaned and washed Everyday, meals ...more
I’ve been traveling and haven’t been able to review this magnificent novel (which I read in 3 hours). Tammy Greenwood’s books are insanely readable. The kind where you’re only going to read the first 10 pages and then start making dinner and meanwhile you’re suddenly 200 pages in and feeding one’s children becomes an afterthought. Like all her novels, this is beautiful and stark and haunting. Her books truly make you feel, even if you don’t relate to the characters.

This book involves two time p
Lolly LKH
This novel is not out yet and I do not want to go into details that will give anything away. I got my hands on ARC. It is about family and the obligations that can sometimes lock us in tight to a life that makes us feel trapped in our skin. It is about a time when loving who you wanted wasn't such a free choice. But make no mistake, this is a beautiful, sad love story. At the end of the novel I thought, what a fitting title. It alternates between the present and the past with each chapter, and w ...more
Amazing hidden treasure

This book was recommended to me by a good friend who knows what I like to read. She was truly spot on with this lovely book. I dare say that it reminds me a little of "Brokeback Mountain" whereas it is a forbidden and tragic love story, but this time between two women in the early sixties. A time where a love like theirs was forbidden. When women were merely fixtures, wives and mothers, only there to serve their husbands and do as they were told. Beyond this being a beauti
Oct 28, 2013 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This is the kind of book that needs more than 5 stars. So amazing. I wanted to finish in one day, but my children needed, you know, food and stuff. Best Greenwood yet.
4.5 Stars. This is a story about 2 women, Billie & Eva and is set in the early 1960s when housewives stayed home to raise children & obey their husbands. Makes you realize what a different & unaccepting time it was. This is not your typical love story, yet it was tender & beautiful... I couldn't put it down. The ending made me cry, which was a little awkward since I was reading it while walking on the treadmill at the YMCA! Very well written & would totally recommend.
Holly Robinson
This is a brave, haunting love story with the breathless pacing of a mystery novel. Ostensibly the story of forbidden love between two women in an era when such a thing was not only considered a crime, but a sin, BODIES OF WATER also catalogs the claustrophobia of being a stay-at-home mom in the 1960's when your husband's word was law. Despite the harsh, almost Shakespearean tragic story line, Greenwood writes with such empathy for all of her characters that readers are left with a feeling of ho ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Cathy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: glbt
Compelling, haunting, heartbreaking. Another story of redemption by the author of Two Rivers but a bit more edgy. I enjoy the juxtaposition of eras (the 60s and current day) and the unexpected twists. pg 262 The idea that someone could hear about what happened all those years ago and not be disgusted, horrified, by all the tragedies that followed, that someone could find a sliver of the goodness, the beauty, I cling to is almost more than I can handle.
Norma Hagins
this was an amazing book!! will be adding it to my must read at least once a year list! I loved the way Greenwood interweaved the past and present while telling this love story. Literally could not stop reading this once I started. first time reading this author but it will definitely not be the last time! going to read all previous work now.
In a Massachusetts suburb in the 1960's, bored housewife Billie is thrilled when new neighbors move in across the street. She's immediately smitten with Eva, the mom, and they seem to have a lot in common, including their many children, their hard-drinking husbands who hold all the power, and a whisper of frustration with their unhappy lives. Billie and Eva are drawn closer and closer together, starting an illicit affair, which continues at the lakeside Vermont camp that Billie's family owns. Af ...more
Absolutely fabulous book..a love story and so much more...this was my first book by this author but will definitely not be my last! I literally couldn't put this book down and miss the characters already..2 thumbs up..five stars doesn't seem enough!! Read this book then tell everyone about it!!!
Absolutely adored this book! The writing is beautiful and I fell instantly in love with the characters. I know it's cliche to say but I couldn't put it down.
Read my review here.
Looking forward to picking up the other books by T. Greenwood!
Emma Mcdougall
Completely loved this book, read it in a 6 hour marathon
I've really enjoyed some of T. Greenwood's other books--especially Grace--but this one definitely moves her into my must-read level.

From the beginning, I was hooked, as we meet Billie, a sprightly octogenarian with a kind heart, a dark secret, and a guilty conscience. The book is told in shifting time periods--elderly Billie in the present day, and Billie as a young mom nearly 50 years before. The flashback focuses on the defining part of her life, when Eva and her family move in across the stre
T. Greenwood has done it once again. This book has everything you could ask for. Makes me want to go to the east coast and rent a cabin by the lake for the summer.

Thanks T. Greenwood for such a wonderful story…..

5 +++++++++++++++
Eighty year old Billie, in contemporary times, tells the story of the four-year love affair she had in the early 60's, how it rocked the lives of the two people involved and devastated their families. Beautifully written, well- paced and skillfully disclosing, the story brings into stark focus the stifling lives of suburban housewives of the early 60's, the lack of choices they had and the strict social norms by which they were expected to operate. It's an achingly sad book that elucidates a sim ...more
I loved this book. The story starts off with an older woman going back to Vermont to visit the son of her best friend from her youth. The book jumps from the 60s to the current time and back again but the transitions were done so well that I wasn't confused moving from "then" to "now".

It was strange reading about the 60s from the point of view that women were property of their husbands and their lives revolved around him and the kids they were supposed to have. At that point, the women really di
Melinda Lang
Brilliant...loved this book and wished it would never end. The prose, the characters, the storyline sucked me in and I crawled into Billie and Eva's world.

At first, though, I will admit that I found it silly that the writer had used some of the same names as a previous novel of hers until I quickly realized that they tied in with this brave, new story.

Human relationships at their finest.....
Claudine Rudeforth
Bodies of Water is such a beautifully written, heart wrenching and soulful love story. My heart felt every emotion and my tears were for the heartache, and the joy that is love. Bodies of Water shows how pure and strong love can be- and if we could eradicate the bigotry and the rules and expectations that often surround and suffocate it, maybe there would be more joy in expressing it. A wonderful novel!
Mary Thompson
I was teetering between a 3 and 4 star rating. I see the beautifully written love story that most see. My heart went out to poor Eva, the children, I even felt bad for Frankie at some points. Yes Frankie, he wasn't so bad, never laid a hand on his wife, worked hard to support his family, loving caring father. He definitely had the typical values for a man in the 60's and yes maybe he drank to much, but he had also married into a loveless marriage. He probably felt worthless and unappreciated wed ...more
Gripping, compelling, sad, and when completed - haunting! Wonderfully written. I don't usually give many *****!
Jan 03, 2014 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
I didn't really buy the ending, but otherwise this is excellent. T Greenwood is a really solid writer, and I love how her books exist in the same world. Really cool to see characters from other books make appearances here.
A good study of the life of the ordinary housewife in the 1960's. Great story of survival, and love as well. Recommend!
Alanna Mayer
What a beautiful book with so much symbolism. Truly fantastic for the hopeless romantic mermaid at heart.
Judy Collins
A complex, compelling, and intense story of two women, living across the street from one another in a small town -- both in an unhealthy marriage relationship with alcoholic, abusive and controlling husbands. Both are wives and mothers who want the best for their families and find comfort and escape in the friendship and love of one another.

Growing up as a child in the 60’s, can relate to the time-- with no internet, cell phones, third-party land lines, and women who chose to stay home and rais
Normally, I go through books pretty quickly once I pick them up. I came across this book through AfterEllen's book club and I think this is the first novel that I've actually to force myself to take breaks between chapters because of how emotional I was getting as I read on.

Billie and Eva's story is not your typical love story; it is especially heartbreaking in some parts and T. Greenwood has created very realistic and vibrant characters that will probably linger in my mind for the next little w
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T. Greenwood is the author of nine novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and, most recently, the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and GRACE received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76 ...more
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“the secret to happiness is counting your blessings while others are adding up their troubles.” 10 likes
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