Saturday, 12 September 2009

Review:- Anita SHREVE – “The Weight of Water”

Publ: 1997
Pensby Library
ISBN: 0 349 10911 7
Genre: General fiction
Pages: 146p
Continuing to read books by this author
Rating: ***** ***

What led you to pick up this book?
Continuing to read books by this author.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
A century after two women were murdered on a small island off the coast of New Hampshire, another woman goes to the island to shoot a photo essay about the crime. The original events and the almost equally dramatic events of the present day become intermingled as the book progresses.

What did you think of the characters and style?
Two lots of completely different characters are portrayed side-by-side as the novel progresses and the way in which the two plots are linked is – in my experience – very unusual. It doesn’t swap from one timescale to other by chapter but back and forth within the chapters – almost mirroring the thought processes of someone living their own life while researching the events of a century earlier. I found it rivetting.

What did you like most about the book?
The constant switching of the scene could have been annoying if less well done but I found it quite fascinating and compelling.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Less than average. Deserved better.

Would I recommend it?

Totally irrelevant side note:
This was a nominee for the Orange Prize for Fiction.

“There is no trace of the Mid-Ocean Hotel. It has passed into recorded memory, historical fact, with no life except in sentences and photographic emulsion. If all the sentences and photographs about the hotel were to be swept into the sea that surrounds Smuttynose, the Mid-Ocean – Hawthorne’s stay there, an immigrant’s abbreviated pleasantries – would cease to exist. No one can know a story’s precise reality.”

ANITA SHREVE – see “Resistance

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