Jeff Chappell's Reviews > The Drowning Girl

The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan
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Apr 17, 12

I own a copy

What is the nature of truth? Can something that may or may not be factually true nevertheless be truth? When you consider that all truth, even facts, actually are subjective in that we must filter them through our own eyes and minds, then is this distinction even relevant?

This is the theme at the heart of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which is a monumental achievement for author Caitlín R. Kiernan. While it shares some thematic points with its predecessor, The Red Tree, it is nevertheless distinct from it (although perhaps not as much as Red Tree was from its predecessors).

Here we have both a gothic and a psychological novel -- I use these terms in their literary senses -- and an even more dramatic departure from Kiernan's ealier work. And it is an impressive work on several levels, not the least of which is that she sustains her main character's first-person voice across the entire length of the novel -- a narrative voice that is distinctly not her own. India Morgan Phelps isn't a professionally published author, nor does she write like one, and this only serves to give the book an almost eerie ring of truth -- there's that word again -- making the reader's willing suspension of disbelief an easy one.

To read a much lengthier review, check out The Drowning Girl by Caitlín R. Kiernan: the Barking Book Review.
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