Charity's Reviews > The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
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's review
Jul 19, 2011

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bookshelves: book-club
Read from July 19 to 24, 2011

This wasn't a bad book. I enjoyed the parallels between the lives of the survivor of the murders on the island of Smuttynose and the modern-day woman delving into the history of the tragedy. I also enjoyed pondering the question raised near the end: what does someone who suffers a tragedy need to leave behind in order to go on with her life?

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 murders, historical records of the trial, and the present-day crisis going on for the narrator on a small boat off the coast of New Hampshire. On the one hand, this lent a sense of urgency to both tales. However, I think it was slightly overused and led to more confusion than necessary.

I also am just not quite sure that it makes sense that what led to the insane rage of the murderer really would have led to it. (That's me trying to make a point without spoiling the ending.)

All that being said, I did enjoy this book. It felt odd to have read a book about Norwegian immigrants at the same time as the attacks in Norway happened, though.

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