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The weight of water
Anita Shreve
Adult Fiction

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 1873, two women living on the Isles of Shoals, a lonely, windswept group of islands off the coast of New Hampshire, were brutally murdered. A third woman survived, cowering in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, Jean, a magazine photographer working on a photoessay about the murders, returns to the Isles with her husband, Thomas, and their five-year-old daughter, Billie, aboard a boat skippered by her brother-in-law, Rich, who has brought along his girlfriend, Adaline. As Jean becomes immersed in the details of the 19th-century murders, Thomas and Adaline find themselves drawn together-with potentially ruinous consequences. Shreve (Where or When; Resistance) perfectly captures the ubiquitous dampness of life on a sailboat, deftly evoking the way in which the weather comes to dictate all actions for those at sea. With the skill of a master shipbuilder, Shreve carefully fits her two stories together, tacking back and forth between the increasingly twisted murder mystery and the escalating tensions unleashed by the threat of a dangerous shipboard romance. Written with assurance and grace, plangent with foreboding and a taut sense of inexorability, The Weight of Water is a powerfully compelling tale of passion, a provocative and disturbing meditation on the nature of love. Author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Professional photographer Jean thinks her latest assignment on New England's Isle of Shoals is a good chance to combine work with a family getaway. Her mistake is soon clear. Tensions build among the five passengers on a relative's sailboat as she begins to question her husband's relationship with a beautiful young woman. While researching the 1873 double murder of two Norwegian immigrants, Jean discovers a heretofore unknown diary kept by Maren Hontvedt, lone survivor of the mayhem. In separate chapters Maren passionately recounts the grisly events, while Jean finds a peculiar resonance between Maren's situation and her own, leading inexorably to a terrible denouement. Shreve (Resistance, LJ 5/15/95) moves the action along deftly, and if plot details sometimes veer perilously close to soap opera, the level of writing is far above the typical best-seller treatment of similar themes. A good choice for libraries where fiction readers want historical drama and family suspense. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/96.]‘Starr E. Smith, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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