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Bodies of Water

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,577 Ratings  ·  277 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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Apr 01, 2014 Elyse rated it really liked it
Update... THANK YOU... soooo sweet to the couple of people who just now noticed this review form 3 years ago. I STILL remember this book. My good friends Lisi and Iris do too. If you haven't read it... and are looking
for a book to lose yourself in completely... this is a great pic.

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
Iris P
Oct 31, 2014 Iris P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Iris P by: Elyse Waters

I am heartbroken but inspired by Billie and Eva's devotion for each other, their overwhelming passion and their willingness to fight, against all odds, for their love...
Can Love conquer all? Not always, but what a privilege to experience such a deep connection with another person's soul in our lifetimes.

Thank you Elyse - and by extension thank you Lisi- for recommending this wonderful book. And of course thank you T. Greenwood for having the empathy and sensibility to write this story.

Dec 19, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
This was a very moving book, I believe I will always remember it... I must look at other books by this author.
Sep 11, 2013 Annie rated it it was amazing
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
Mary Kubica
Mar 25, 2015 Mary Kubica rated it it was amazing
One of the most hauntingly beautiful books I've ever read. This will stay with me for a very long time.
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
Sep 12, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 17, 2013 james rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2014 Coleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2013 Deb-oh rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2014 Trisha rated it really liked it
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.
Lolly K Dandeneau
Jul 07, 2013 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it really liked it
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
Nov 24, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Bodies of Water is about two 1960s suburban "housewives" who live across the street, fall in love and find hope and escape from the daily drudgery of their lives (for a short time). Greenwood does a terrific job exploring a powerful and complicated love story as well as the repression of the era. The novel is a timely reminder that life was not "great" for many Americans in the early 1960s. Greenwood's writing is clear and resonant and I will certainly read more of her novels. (Thanks for the re ...more
Mar 08, 2014 Lynda rated it it was amazing
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!!!
”This is what I know: memory is the same as water. It permeates and saturates. Quenches and satisfies. It can hold you up or pull you under; render you weightless or drown you. It is tangible, but elusive. My memories of Eva are like this: the watery dreams of the past I can no more easily grasp than a fistful of the ocean.”

I am not crying. I am not crying.


I almost never cry in books, but this book had me a sniveling, sobbing mess. I wasn’t expecting this book to pa
Sep 19, 2013 Kelley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read novel courtesy of a friend

This is THE book that MUST be read! It is so compelling that you won't be able to put it down. T. Greenwood has written a quintessential novel of the American family with all of the devastation and dreams included.

"Bodies of Water" is essentially the story of two women, their families and their love. I'm not going to say anymore about the plot. I will say that this novel struck such a cord with me that I found myself laughing and crying throughout. Once I started t
Holly Robinson
Oct 05, 2013 Holly Robinson rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 05, 2015 prettybooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ce roman est magnifique. Cette histoire d’amour entre ces deux femmes est si belle et pourtant impossible à vivre. J’ai été très touchée par leur histoire, et j’ai ressenti dans ce roman à la fois un grand calme et en même temps une descente aux enfers des personnes qui tentent de s’aimer sans jamais pouvoir le faire librement.

Ma chronique :
Nov 09, 2013 Cathy rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 02, 2015 Lesley rated it it was amazing
a complex love story during the 1960's. a lot of stereotypical stuff going on for that time period. women stayed home and listened to their men. this book touches on forbidden love, domestic violence, drinking alcohol, with tragedy. almost 5 stars but I didn't like the past and present. I get it needed to be done but too much about present. I would've been ok with starting with present, the whole story in 60's, then ended as the present. good writing style and recommend it.
Norma Hagins
Dec 27, 2013 Norma Hagins rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 30, 2014 Lisi rated it it was amazing
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 +++++++++++++++
Jan 13, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 02, 2013 Emma Mcdougall rated it it was amazing
Completely loved this book, read it in a 6 hour marathon
Nov 10, 2014 Christine rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. Sad. Forever Memorable.
Judy Collins
Feb 19, 2014 Judy Collins rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 31, 2013 Christa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary
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
Apr 17, 2014 Charlene rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 18, 2013 Jodi rated it really liked it
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
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topics  posts  views  last activity Bo...: Bodies of Water: Section 3. 47 81 Jan 31, 2014 05:02PM Bo...: Bodies of Water: Section 1. 14 106 Jan 21, 2014 07:55PM Bo...: Bodies of Water: Section 2. 4 40 Jan 21, 2014 09:27AM  
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T. Greenwood is the author of ten 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.” 14 likes
“Memory is the same as water. It is a still lake bathed in moonlight, a vast ocean, a violent river ready to carry you away. It can calm you or it can harm you; it is both more powerful and weaker than you’d think. It is a paradox.” 3 likes
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