Genevieve Woods's Reviews > Dark Water

Dark Water by Laura McNeal
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's review
Jun 12, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011

The dust jacket makes this National Book Award Finalist seem like a modern Romeo & Juliet with a climatic fiery ending. And I suppose it is, but yet it really isn't. Pearl's relationship with Amiel is only half the story. The other half is her relationship with her family: her cousin, her aunt and uncle on whose charity she and her mother live, and her father, who left them. There is also the ever present but never discussed relationship between these (white) people and the dark-skinned, Spanish-speaking people who surround them. The fact that this difficult relationship is not openly discussed gives the book a depth that would have been lost had the author, Laura McNeal, decided she had an axe to grind. There is no preaching, there is simply a description of what is. That simplicity elevates the story to something greater than it's parts.

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