The Weight of Water
Anita Shreve has such a somber but beautiful voice. Her stories are incredibly emotional.
The plot was somewhat scattered and none of the characters were developed enough for me to love them. However, that didn’t take away from this book for me, as it usually would. Some writers, good characters are all they h...more
And then through trial transcripts and a memoir that has never been found before, the story of Norwegian immigrants who settled on this islands off the coast....more
In the novel, a photojournalist named Jean gets an assignment to do a photo essay on a 100-year-old double -murder that happened on the isles of Shoals, a tiny group of islands off the coast of New Hampshire. Jean brings along her poet husband, her five-years-old daughter, her brother-in-low and his new girlfriend.
Shreve skillfully got me involved in the soap opera whe...more
After reading the hefty and only half good Fortune's Rocks I wanted to read some more of Shreve so I picked the slimmest volume in the bookshop hoping that she could write more consistently compellingly in a shorter work. And I got what I wanted - this book would have been unputdownable if I hadn't have had so much to do. I woke up before my alarm this morning and before I got a chance to decide whether I really ought to try and get a little more sleep my head had decided I needed to finish this...more
I have to say that I didn't really care too much for the modern-day people and their woes. I just couldn't relate to the female characters here (either Jean or Adaline) as real people with real problems. However, I did enjoy the story about the Norwegian immigrants who came to Smuttynose Island. They had some serious issues to deal with, e...more
"The island is not barren, but it is sere and bleak."
"The Isles of Shoals, an archipelago, lie in the Atlantic, ten miles southeast off th...more
A murder of two women took place over 100 years ago on the island of Smutty Nose in the Isles of Shoals. Maren Hanvent moves to this very remote, sparse island with her fisherman husband. They are followed by her sister and brother...more
Anita Shreve is a masterful author from New England who has taken a real event—a horrific double murder of two Norwegian women in the Isle of Shoals in the late 180...more
1)The long and largely irrelevant passages about Maren's life in Norway.
2) The unexplained hostility between the two sisters (Maren and Karen--yikes--imagination where art thou?)
3)The past story of the murders and the present tale of jealousy went off the rails at the critical moment. Frankly, the whole narrative from the past didn't hang together very well.
4)The cliched moody drunk p...more
Jean discovers a lost archive in Portsmouth's library including a narrative from the sole survivor of the murders. As the re...more
The second story, interwoven with Jean’s story, is the first hand story of t...more
The novel is actually two stories that Shreve tries to intertwine though more than 100 years separates them. In modern day, the stor...more
I had also read and enjoyed The Last Time They Met, which was a follow-up of sorts to The Weight of Water.
I must admit I was somewhat disappointed with this book. I'm not a big fan of true crime novels - unless you are Truman Capote it is hard to carry off - and I thought that the weakest part of The...more
Telling two stories in parallel, with the story from the past filtered through a character in the present, is a nice structure, and one Shreve has used successfully in the past.
On the upside, the setting is very inte...more
The style of the book was a little tedious and confusing at times, though. Shreve jumped back and forth from a fictional confessional about the 19th Century...more
As a child I grew up sailing and anchoring off the Isles of Shoals, listening to tales of the pirate Bluebeard, treasure and murder; swimming in the deep black waters; and exploring Smuttynose and the Haley house (of which I'm a d...more