"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

02 March 2013

2013 Book Review # 7: The Memory of Water

I've just completed my 2nd Karen White novel.

I'm really liking her style of writing.

This was a book that immediately grabbed my attention. 

The setting is the LowCountry, South Carolina.  I've always wanted to visit the Carolinas and never have,  so I am sometimes drawn to books that are set in those states.


Marnie Maitland has returned to her hometown in South Carolina's Lowcountry after 10 years of living her life as an Art teacher to special needs children.  She has not seen her older sister Diana in all of that time, nor her grandfather.  She has never met Diana's husband, now her ex, nor Diana's son, Gil, age 9.  

When they were just girls, their mother drowned while trying to ride out a storm on their sailboat...and Marnie and Diana learn that there is more than one kind of death.  They also lost their innocence, love and hope.  Both of them have kept different secrets about what really happened that night----and these secrets erode their lives as they mature into adults.

Quinn, Diana's ex-husband, has called Marnie back to the home place.  His son Gil returned from a sailing trip with Diana, who is emotionally unstable, and has not spoken verbally since then.  He is upset and refuses to speak.  Quinn thinks that Marnie can get him to open up but in order to do that, she will have to open up old wounds and bring the darkest memories of her past to the surface.  She will also need to confront Diana.

Will Gil speak  aloud again?  What will he reveal??

What really happened to the mother?

Do Diana and Marnie forgive each other and find the bond they shared as little girls?

Will Marnie ever set her feet on a boat again??


This book is a story of loss and renewal.  Of forgiveness and hope.  

It is gripping...it's a story that centers around family relationships and bipolar disorder and the author does a great job in describing life with a family member who has this disease.  Keep in mind that the author does a good job of describing this mental disorder but that not every person who suffers from Bipolar Disorder is like the character in the book.  (I know 2 people with the disorder).  However, I do know that if a bipolar person goes off the medication, life can get very tricky for them...and for the people they deal with on a daily basis.

I liked that the story has a bit of mystery to it as well as a tiny touch of romance and some fictional history with the "Maitland curse".

I really like how the author has each character "speak" in his/her own voice. Each chapter or section is a different character.

I liked that I guessed the ending...it's a little predictable if you are paying close attention to the family history and if you know how to "read between the lines".  I actually expected it to happen a little earlier in the book and I like how the author tied in 2 of the characters with this 3rd character.  I don't want to be too specific in case you want to read the novel!  

I really liked that the author had different quotes, mainly about the ocean, before each chapter began by famous writers.   Each quote kind of went with what was going on in the chapter.  I liked a couple of them so much that I wrote them down in my journal!

I found my self loathing Diana and rooting for Marnie.  My heart broke for Gil until his very courageous act at the end......and Quinn is just lovable. 

Of course towards the end, I did feel sorry for Diana......and I'm sure that was the author's intent.

I am definitely going to try to find her other novels at our towne library!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone over the age of 14.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.


Susanne said...

This sounds very interesting! I'm off to check if the library has it. Though I do have so many books of my own I really should stop going to the library for awhile. LOL.

Melanie said...

I just put this one "on hold" at the Midyork Library System. I like her style of writing too....it's not cheesy like some authors {gag}. I've read 4 of her books so far!