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Grasping at Water

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When a young, unidentified woman is pulled alive and well from Sydney Harbour in 2013, the connections to another woman - found in similar circumstances forty years earlier - present psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley with a terrible decision as the events of the present and past begin to mirror each other and the gap between truth and illusion shrinks.

When the young woman goes
Paperback, 244 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Odyssey Books
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Sadaf sarkar
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I received an Arc of it in exchange for a honest review from netgalley
Grasping the water was a completely different book from what I had expected .It belong to a completely different genre all together . The book was about a psychiatrist named Kathryn Brooklyn and shopia .
It narrates the process of a spiritual journey and enlightenment . It had a mix of mysticism and concepts like oneself with the divine .
The book was overall O.K .It is best suited for those who prefer to read about truth of li
Boyko Ovcharov
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mystical, psychological story with time travel back to the Middle Ages.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great mystical mystery set in modern day Sydney and the beautiful rambling hills of the South Coast. Grasping at Water is a page turner with wonderful and timeless insights that will have you wanting to read the book again once finished! A must read. Thank you Carmel Bendon.
Tess Donnelly
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was a very 'textured' read - an intriguing mystery on the surface but, on a much deeper level, a story about how we view and experience the world. We see this world primarily through the eyes of a mysterious young woman who is found in Sydney Harbour early one morning. She won't reveal precisely who she is and prefers, instead, to explain herself in tales, most of which take us back to the extraordinary world of the Middle Ages. The authenticity with which this med ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mystical journey

Carmel Bendon's debut novel interweaves the stories of psychiatrist Katherine, retired nun Margery and the mysterious Sophia, a young woman whose origins are clouded by questions. As Sophia's influence on the lives of all those she meets grows ever-greater, Katherine comes to question everything she understands about the world. A gently paced story, Grasping at Water is very much in the tradition of novels that impart spiritual lessons, such as The Celestine Prophecy. The char
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An event that defies rational explanation sets this unusual story in motion. When a ferry crew saves thirty-year-old Sophia from the depths of Sydney Harbour, she is put under the care of psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley. However, when Sophia begins to help Kathryn uncover and deal with the deep grief she has held for many years, Kathryn finds the role of doctor and patient strangely reversed.

Strange circumstances and coincidences float all around Sophia and when Kathryn discovers that a near-drown
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grasping At Water is a debut novel by Carmel Bendon. It is a perfect concoction of spirituality, mystic science and religion. This is a book which aroused the curiosity in me, often attached to the rational conditioning of the mind to find the truth of life. The decision to choose between head and heart over certain matters is well explained through this story. The interrelationship between science and religion is beautifully portrayed by the author. There are many questions of life where Scienc ...more
Isobel Blackthorn
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Grasping at Water is an unusual book, possibly one of its kind. Told in the form of a mystery, what unfolds is so much more, as Kathryn, a traditional psychiatrist with all of the typical objectivist trappings of her job, is called in to assess a mysterious woman dragged out of Sydney Harbour. What unfolds will intrigue and fascinate the receptive reader. 

The mystical theme is present early in the narrative through this mysterious un-drowned woman who eventually names herself Sophia (wisdom). Th
Cathy Davidson
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
At first I chose this book because I liked the cover and the story's description. But as I read it, I became caught up in the really interesting and unusual world and situations it presented. The story moved from modern day Sydney to Norwich of 14th century and back again. A strange woman, found in Sydney Harbour, speaks about herself in tales of her life and this leads other characters to tell their own often surprising, often very sad, sometimes funny tales. Everything comes together in an end ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is very hard to categorise. In fact, even the genre is a bit of a spoiler. It's about women... and mothers... and one mysterious woman (or several)... and not knowing what is true or false.
Erica Obey
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ambitious and compelling. This book is beautifully written, and the author handles its complex subject matter deftly and with sensitivity. However, a mystery reader is likely to find themselves blindsided when they discover this book is about the medieval concept of a mystery, not the contemporary one. Still, it is worth yielding to the book's intentions, and joining the characters on this unusual journey.
Theresa McCoy
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the most unusual and interesting novels I've read in a very long time. A mysterious young women, pulled from Sydney Harbour, exerts a quiet but extraordinary influence over those who encounter her. And the influence seems to extend back many, many years. There is mystery here, and vision and humor, and there are some very thoroughly researched historical 'flashbacks' to life in medieval England; but under, and above, it all is a story about what it means to be alive, to suffer, a ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 ⭐️ for me. A young, unidentified woman is pulled alive from Sydney Harbour in 2013. This is reminiscent of similar circumstances forty years earlier. When the young woman goes further and states she has lived continuously since coming to “understanding” in the 14 century. Enter psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley as the events of the present and past begin to mirror each other and the gap between truth and illusion shrinks!

This story brought up so many different emotions as I progressed through it
Rachel Bonner
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was gifted a copy of this book. I suspect I wouldn't have picked it up and purchased it which would have been a shame because I really enjoyed it. The start was slow but it was very well written and I soon got involved with the characters, wanting to find out what was happening and what had happened in the past. I was particularly impressed by the spiritual side and how this twisted through the whole timescale of the story (many centuries) along with the references to Julian of Norwich. If you ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Grasping at Water. For me, it went beyond what seemed a typical mystery and more a life’s journey.
It’s the debut novel of Carmel Bendon and is a story that revolves around the discovery of a woman found floating in Sydney Harbour. However, she is no ordinary woman and almost immediately the mystery begins…..Who is she? How did she get there? How has she managed to stay alive? And how does she know intimate details about the book’s other characters?
As the story unfold
Reminiscent Reader
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book in order for an honest review. Reading the synopsis of this book, I was feeling pretty optimistic. It was a unique plot that sounded very unusual and a little jumbled, but very interesting just the same. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the rest of the book

First off, I couldn't tell what genre this book was trying to encompass. It felt like there were too many ideas trying to fight for dominance in a too tiny place. I had to force myself to read chapter
Hannelore Cheney
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Thank you NetGalley and Odyssey Books for the eARC.
It's difficult for me to review this book, it was a confusing read that just didn't grab me. I loved the concept when I read the description but just couldn't get into it.
It's 2013 and a young woman is pulled from Sydney Harbour, physically fit, but not responding to questions. Psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley is called in to evaluate the patient's mental state. When the woman finally responds, her story is shocking: she professes she was born in t
Mommy Reads
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
Thank you @netgalley and Odyssey Books for the eARC. As usual, my reviews are my honest and unbiased opinions.

In 2013, a young unidentified women is pulled from the water alive and well in Sydney Harbour. About 40 years prior, another woman was found in similar circumstances. Psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley must now figure out how to make sense of these events, as the past and present starts to clash. The mysterious women claims that she has lived continuously from the 14th century. Her stories a
Clazzzer C
May 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This was such an unusual read. It was nothing like I anticipated. While I don't usually choose novels centred around spirituality this was enjoyable. Kathryn is a psychiatrist who becomes involved with a girl who is pulled alive from the water in Sydney Australia. Sophia, the young girl's story is like that of a girl who was in a similar situation 40 years previously and as Kathryn get to know her better she discovers some very strange revelations. Sophia speaks, convincingly, of memories that c ...more
Esther King
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a particularly strange book, and I can’t quite place it 100%. It has elements of mysticism and medieval folklore (think Lady Of The Lake) and it’s very layered in a weird sense. Highly descriptive and evocative, it follows the story of a women pulled from Sydney Harbour who reappears at intervals to ‘heal’ people and their lives. It’s an interesting book but I felt like I ended it with more questions than answers, and so it sits firmly in the middle for me.
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Jan 19, 2019
Mustang Sally
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Clive Mccartney
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. Not my usual fare, this book has in turns irritated and fascinated me. As a vehicle for mysticism it is absolute claptrap but the story premise is interesting and could have been developed further.
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