The Weight of Water

by Anita Shreve | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316780375 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 11/27/2018
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, November 27, 2018
I got this softcover from a local Goodwill thrift shop, for another release copy.

I first read the book some years ago, intrigued by its use of the axe-murders on Smuttynose Island in 1873, and while I didn't love the book as a whole, it still offered an interesting alternative explanation for the crimes.

I first read of the Smuttynose murders in Edmund Pearson's Murder at Smuttynose collection; his version of the story relies heavily on the account of poet Celia Thaxter, who lived on a neighboring island in the Isles of Shoals at the time of the crime.

This novel takes the approach that a modern-day woman investigates the crimes and begins to wonder if the generally-accepted version is correct, or if Maren, the sole survivor of the attack, may have had more to do with it. Meanwhile, there are strains in her marriage, which are echoed in the strains we see in Maren's life, via what is allegedly a memoir by her. I enjoyed the sense of place from Maren's memoir, showing the kind of life it must have been - and whether or not the author's speculations as to Maren's relationship with her husband, family, and sister-in-law were true, it made for interesting reading.

I was less caught up in main character Jean's life, and found it hard to like any of the modern-day characters very much; this meant that all of the modern-day action - aside from Jean's explorations of the island, which were fascinating - left me rather cold. Still, the tragic aspects of the story were very effective.

Just last summer I got to visit the Isles of Shoals for the first time, on a tour of Appledore that included a trip around all the islands and a close look at Smuttynose. By daylight, with the new breakwater connecting it to its neighboring island, it looks almost cozy, so close to the other islands - but I can imagine that without that breakwater, on a bitter cold night, even a few dozen feet of open ocean would be an impassable boundary...

[The 2000 film adaptation was OK, I guess, but it didn't make me like the main modern-day characters any more than I did in the book {wry grin}.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Lunenburg Town Center (see notes) in Lunenburg, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Released 2 yrs ago (11/27/2018 UTC) at Lunenburg Town Center (see notes) in Lunenburg, Massachusetts USA


I left this book, bagged against the elements, on a bench in the little square among all the holiday decorations; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2018 The The release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2018 Movie release challenge. ***

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