The Weight of Water

by Anita Shreve | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316780375 Global Overview for this book
Registered by goatgrrl of New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on 12/9/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
18 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, December 09, 2004
This is an utterly bleak but very compelling story. The Weight of Water is all about jealousy and its consequences, and the marital catastrophe in the modern half of the story is foreshadowed by what's happened -- we gather -- in the historical half. I won't give away the ending, but I will say this: it ain't cheerful!

This book was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 1998. It's based on a true series of events on Smuttynose Island, New Hampshire in the 1860s and 1870s. To view photos of the real Smuttynose Island, click here (example at left).

Journal Entry 2 by goatgrrl from New Westminster, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, December 09, 2004
I'm mailing The Weight of Water to redhouse, since it was on her wishlist. Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2005!

Journal Entry 3 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Arrived this morning, wow that was fast!
Many thanks Deborah.

Journal Entry 4 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Oh my goodness! Anita Shreve can often be very bleak but she has surpassed herself here. I too found the story utterly compelling, but can't say I engaged with the modern day characters very much. For me Maren's story was the best part.
Thanks for this Deborah, even though it took me an age to get around to reading it.
I think I'll save it for a bookbox that is heading my way.

Journal Entry 5 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Sunday, July 30, 2006
Missed the bookbox, but it's on its way to BabyFlylady as part of a double trade

Journal Entry 6 by BabyFlylady from Driffield, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 06, 2006
Thanks Redhouse. This is another wish fulfilled and I am looking forward to it. I will send it on as a Bookray once I am done.

Journal Entry 7 by BabyFlylady from Driffield, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Wow! It took a bit of getting into but I found this book compelling too. I agree with Redhouse however and couldn't relate to the modern characters. I found the story behind the book much more interesting and the fact that the story of the murders on the island is true made it even more interesting.

Have decided to trade this book with fairy-dust in exchange for "Fortunes Rock". Will be sending it when I next pass a Post Office. Thanks Redhouse for the trade!

Released 12 yrs ago (9/11/2006 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in South Shields, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom



On it's way to Fairy-dust. Happy Reading!

Journal Entry 9 by fairy-dust from Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom on Monday, September 18, 2006
Received in the post today from BabyFlyLady along with a little bag of cola bottles (My favourites! Yum!!) which was a nice surprise! Thanks so much! I'll add it to my ever expanding TBR pile.

Journal Entry 10 by fairy-dust from Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom on Friday, October 13, 2006
"I wonder this: If you take a woman to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century old-crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case - an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women - Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences. Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of the Water takes us on an unforgettable journey through the farthest extremes of emotion.

I've written the blurb because I always like it to be on the journal entry pages so that anyone browsing can see what the book's about, although, I think the blurb's a little misleading, but I've put it up all the same.

This really is a bleak story and like everyone else here, I found Maren's story more compelling than Jean's. I think that's because her story is based on fact. I found though, that the book jumps a bit randomly from Jean's story to an account of the facts surrounding Maren's, and it made it quite hard to get into. To be honest, I can't decide whether I enjoyed the book or not! That's why I've only given it a 5. I know there's a film made of it and I think it might be one of those books that is actually better as a film. I'm glad I've read it though because I'm a fan of Anita Shreve, and every time I read her books I see that she seems to be able to write in any kind of style. None of the books I've read of hers have been the same! Thanks BabyFlyLady for the trade!

Journal Entry 11 by fairy-dust from Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 29, 2007
This is going off on its travels as a ray. The order is below (shipping prefs in brackets):

RubyBlueLady - UK (anywhere)
BOKWORMY - Portugal (anywhere)
penelopewanders - Switzerland (Europe)
Inver - UK (anywhere)
Jayebirck - US (US preferred)
sweetybeans - US (US preferred)
FastFashion - US (anywhere)
JerrilynnL - US (anywhere)
HeyEcho - Canada (anywhere)
miss-gonewest Aus (Aus preferred)

If there are any problems, and yu'd like to be skipped or moved down the list for some reason, just PM me and I'll see what I can do!

Journal Entry 12 by fairy-dust from Stockport, Cheshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Posted out to RubyBlueLady today - hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 13 by RubyBlueLady from Avebury, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 03, 2007
I received this book this morning and read it straightaway.

I found the two intertwining stories gripping, which is probably why I read it one go, I couldn't put it down. I haven't read an Anita Shreve book I haven't liked yet, but this one I thought exceptional.

Thanks for sharing, will send to the next person when I have their address.

Journal Entry 14 by BOKWORMY on Friday, May 11, 2007
Thanks to RubyBlueLady for posting it over and fairy-dust for sharing another great bookring with me!

I´ve got two bookrings before this one but I´ll try to be quick :)

Journal Entry 15 by BOKWORMY on Thursday, May 24, 2007
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. The plot and ending were a bit disturbing. Anita Shreve writes beautifully. I found it interesting the way she switched between past and present to keep two stories going.

Looking forward to watching the Film :)

Journal Entry 16 by BOKWORMY at on Thursday, May 24, 2007

Released 11 yrs ago (5/24/2007 UTC) at



On the way to penelopewanders in Switzerland!

Journal Entry 17 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, May 29, 2007
This arrived here this morning along with another ring. Thanks so much for making this available. I'll try to get to it as quickly as possible.

Journal Entry 18 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Monday, June 11, 2007
Shreve writes so well... but bleak is indeed the tone, so well-suited to the islands. Norway, which often has a reputation as potentially bleak, comes across as paradise compared to these specks in the ocean. I enjoyed looking at the link to the photos, by the way, thanks.
It took me a few days to settle into this book, but once in, it was a swift read, although not necessarily pleasant and certainly not comforting. But I'm very glad for the chance to read it, and suspect the story will haunt me for a while. Thanks so much for making this book available. I have PM'ed for the next address, but have yet to hear. I'll send another message in a few days.


This book is now headed from the Alps to Scotland... would love to go with it! Enjoy.... and thanks again for making this available. For those of you who haven't read Fortune's Rock, I have that ring going around, PM me if you'd like to join... cheers (forgive the advertising please, I just love sharing books I enjoy - which is why I'm here...)

Journal Entry 20 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, June 21, 2007
Arrived safe and sound. Am reading two other bookrings at the moment but this will be next on the list.

Journal Entry 21 by BabyFlylady from Driffield, East Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, June 22, 2007
Hi. I had this book a while ago, but felt I needed to share my discovery with you all (although you probably already know!) I am currently reading The Last Time They Met ( which tells the story of Thomas 6 years on. This isn't made obvious and has just occured to me as I began to read. This appears to be one of Shreve's trademarks. She hints at other stories, such as Sea Glass and Pilot's Wife being based in the same house, so that there is something familer when you read it. Anyway this is also a bookring book and I am sure that laura0141 would be happy for you to join if you are interested!

Sorry if I am telling you something that you already know! :-)

Journal Entry 22 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, June 27, 2007
27/6/07 40 pages read so far. Wondering how it is going to proceed!
7/7/07 About half way through.

Journal Entry 23 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Finished. Took a little while to get into the story but overall an enjoyable enough read. Although sometimes I got annoyed when it suddenly slipped into the past or present with no obvious break in the chapter, then I would suddenly realise the characters had changed again! However I didn't see the ending it was going to have! Thanks for sharing. Have Jayebirck address posting on this week.


Departing Scotland and heading of to the US.

Journal Entry 25 by Jayebirck from Dallas, Texas USA on Monday, October 01, 2007
Received about a week ago, but was unable to "catch" it until today.
Thanks! I'll read it ASAP; am placing it on my TBR pile.

Journal Entry 26 by sweetybeans from Cottage Grove, Oregon USA on Saturday, August 08, 2009
Just received in the post yesterday! What a surprise, wasn't expecting books.

Journal Entry 27 by JerrilynnL from Denver, Colorado USA on Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Surprise bookring -- had pretty much given up on this one since it had been out so long. Will read and pass on to the next person. :-)

Journal Entry 28 by JerrilynnL from Denver, Colorado USA on Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wow - sorry I ended up keeping it a little longer than intended. What an interesting book and the ending -- whew! what a surprise (without giving it away!). This was well-written but very sad - in both the modern and the past sections of the book. I have emailed HeyEcho for her address and will send it then.

Update 11/4/09: PM'd HeyEcho twice and also miss-gonewest in case I don't hear from HeyEcho. According to their bookshelves, neither seems to have been very active since 2007 when this ray started. I'll give them a couple of more days to respond before finding a fun alternative. :-)

Update 11/14/09: After several attempts at contacting the last two people on the previous ray, I've had no luck. Looks like neither one has been active since 2007. So I'll post in the forums to start a new ray.

Journal Entry 29 by JerrilynnL from Denver, Colorado USA on Sunday, November 15, 2009
The ray continues on ...

lisabb2 - US/US only
MmeClinton - US/US or Canada
adventuregirl - US/?
HunterRyue - US/US only
2of3rs - US/International
Cinderess - UK/UK only
milly1401 - UK/International
skyblueyes - France/International
chamonix44 - Netherlands/International*

(Note to Chamonix44 - when you're done and are looking to pass it on, check with top-tappser who might be interested in reading the book but not on the time-constraint of a ray). :-)

*requested to be last on list

Journal Entry 30 by JerrilynnL at Postal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, February 04, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (2/4/2010 UTC) at Postal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Off to lisabb2 to start the next leg of the book ray. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 31 by lisabb2 from Grimes, Iowa USA on Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Got in the mail today...will read shortly!!!

Journal Entry 32 by lisabb2 from Grimes, Iowa USA on Saturday, February 20, 2010
This was abit hard to get into at first. I think the constant change between current and historical scenes took a little getting used to. I can't even imagine living on that island period but found all the history facinating. I had kind of figured out the ending but it was a good read once I got into it.

This will be sent off to MmeClinton shortly!!!

Journal Entry 33 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Sunday, February 28, 2010
I have just received this in the mail from lisabb2 as part of the latest bookring for this book! I am amazed it has been circulating for over five years and is still in pretty good shape, even with several ocean crossings. I am leaving on March 6 for a school trip to France and would like to finish it before I go and get it on to the next person, but I have so much to get done before then (mostly grade comments, very tiring process), so I can't be sure. At any rate, I'll get as far as I can and then finish it promptly when I return March 19. Our school (all kids 14-18 and the faculty) read a book last summer called Cold Water Crossing, which was all about the Smuttynose Island murders. We then took a field trip out to the Isle of Shoals (our school is 20 miles from Portsmouth, New Hampshire). The trip was fun, and the murders intriguing, but it had to be just about the worst written book I've read in decades (the guy needed an editor), and it was embarrassing that we encouraged young people to read it (full of run-on repetitive sentences, misspellings, grammar mistakes, etc. --- and boring to boot, which is pretty sad considering the material!). So I was looking forward to a different recounting of this event, and I shall have it!

Journal Entry 34 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Thursday, March 04, 2010
I have in fact managed to finish this book before my scheduled departure March 6th, which attests to the staying power of Anita Shreve's writing. I agree that the more riveting sections of the book were the older parts dealing with Maren Hondvet and the murders, but of course the murders would attract us more than the marital difficulties of a 20th century couple. But to be fair, the more you stick with the book, the more you realize that the mystery is how things will resolve with Jean our modern storyteller, since we think we already know the other tale. Since this is a work of fiction, Shreve was free to create her own tale(s) and in fact we find we are wrong about all our assumptions. I ended up liking the book a lot. Some of the lingering questions, of course are: so what about the alleged murderer, Louis Wagner? We learn all about his trial and execution and the witnessing against him.... but as this story unfolds, he becomes minimalized in importance. But what if Shreve's story were true? Is there no thought in Maren's mind about all this? Next, how do you feel about the allegations concerning the real or imagined relations between Maren and her brother? Next, what do you really think of Karen? I do think Shreve has done a great job giving realistic dimensions to human emotions and how in the space of a few minutes one can lose one's way and commit terrible deeds. This was a much more satisfying read than Cold Water Crossing, the non-fiction book I read which I mentioned in the last comment, but I think my reading of this story was enriched because I had much more exposure to Louis Wagner and his role in the murders by reading that poorly written book. Shreve weaves the two stories (the old and the modern) together without any effort to separate them, a technique I didn't really like but which I grew used to, but in the process, we have a very incomplete picture of Louis Wagner in comparison to what I learned in Cold Water Crossing. Anyway, I was very happy to participate in this ring. I have just sent a second email to the next person on the list who hasn't yet responded; I am leaving the country Saturday for two weeks and am sad not to be sending it on before I go, but it is only fair to give the next person a bit more time to respond as she might be on vacation at the moment. But if I don't have an answer by the time I return March 19, I will go on to the next person on the list.

Journal Entry 35 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Saturday, March 20, 2010
I have had no response in three weeks to my repeatd messages to adventuregirl, so I will send a request to the next in line, hunterRyu to see if I can move this along!

Journal Entry 36 by wingHunterRyuwing at Elk Township, New Jersey USA on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I just found this book with the bookray note inside a box buried under my desk. I don't know how long I've had it and I am truly deeply sincerely sorry that I've delayed this ray! I feel awful! I will get it moving again ASAP!

Journal Entry 37 by wingHunterRyuwing at Elk Township, New Jersey USA on Friday, November 05, 2010
Finished this book today. It was not an easy read but I trudged through it because I really wanted to know what happened to those women! Although, I had sort of figured it out on my own by the time it was revealed. I wasn't a fan of the writing style. I didn't like that there were no chapter breaks and it kept jumping back and forth between past and present with no sign it was going to change, just one paragraph was one time and the next was somewhere else. It was attention catching though or I wouldn't have read the whole thing.

Thanks for sharing and again I am so so so SO SORRY I stalled it out like I did! Will mail out ASAP and revive this ring. SORRY!

Journal Entry 38 by wingHunterRyuwing at Elk Township, New Jersey USA on Monday, November 08, 2010
2of3rs has dropped out of the ray, PMed Cinderess for an address. I'm shipping international to make up for stalling the ray. Sorry again!

Journal Entry 39 by wingHunterRyuwing at Elk Township, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Loaned the book to my Gmom to read while waiting for a reply from Cindress, who asked to be skipped. Now contacting milly1401 for an address.

She said the ending was depressing and was upset I shared it with her, haha. Boo.

Journal Entry 40 by wingHunterRyuwing at Elk Township, New Jersey USA on Friday, December 03, 2010
Moving down the list, had another request to be skipped. Will just post a new entry when it's finally on it's way to someone new!

Journal Entry 41 by wingHunterRyuwing at to the next participant, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, December 23, 2010

Released 8 yrs ago (12/23/2010 UTC) at to the next participant, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases


Worked my way down the list and finally got a reply from chamonix44! Will be mailing out next week after the holiday. Thanks for your patience with me, again so sorry for the delay!

Journal Entry 42 by chamonix44 at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Monday, January 10, 2011
Thank you HunterRyu for sending me this book. Anita Shreve has turned out to be one of my favourite authors. I hope I will enjoy this book as much as the others I have read which were written by her. Thank you also for the lovely bookmark which I found tucked inside the book.

Journal Entry 43 by chamonix44 at Almelo, Overijssel Netherlands on Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I loved this book. It took a while to get into the story and by then I was realising that I already knew this story. In fact I knew the story of Jean as well as the story of Maren. Then I realised that I have in fact seen the film of this novel some time ago. Every one of Anita Shreve's books that I have read so far has been different and also compelling, (copied that word 'compelling' from some of the other journal entries here as it is the perfect word for this writer's stories). I really like her style of writing, and I have never been disappointed with any of her books.

The ending was a surprise though, as I had forgotten the ending of the film. After finishing this book I read all the journal entries here, looked up Smuttynose Island online and also found some information about the murders. See link below.
Click herefor more info on the murders

Journal Entry 44 by chamonix44 at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Released 7 yrs ago (5/21/2011 UTC) at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom


This book is on its way to disneyfreaksam.
I really hope you enjoy it.

If you are reading here, then I want to tell you that this is a. FREE . book, and there are no catches! It is now yours! Please read on.....
If you are the finder of this book it would be nice if you could leave a message here to say that you have it. Do not worry because I don't want the book back. It is yours to keep if you want it. I just want to know it is now in safe hands.
Hello and congratulations!
You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large. I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing --maybe even make a journal entry on this book. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join. If you do choose to join, I hope you'll consider using me,
chamonix44. (or any of the journallers before me), as your referring member.
Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend or even set it out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did. If you do choose to join and journal, then you can watch the book as it travels- You'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry. It's all confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 45 by disneyfreaksam at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Thank you so so much for your kindness. I will read this and pass it on

Journal Entry 46 by disneyfreaksam at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Anita Shreve is amazing at writing bleak but extremely gripping books. I really enjoyed the Maren story better than the modern day one but they compliment each other so, so well. Truly enjoyable.

Journal Entry 47 by disneyfreaksam at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom on Thursday, January 05, 2012

Released 7 yrs ago (1/6/2012 UTC) at Warminster, Wiltshire United Kingdom


On the way to the next reader


Journal Entry 48 by wingDeepswampwing at Oskarshamn, Småland Sweden on Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Thanks! The book arrived safe and (hi, hi) I have read in Swedish!
Happy to write a journal - this book have done a lot of travelling!
And I will find a new home for it!

Journal Entry 49 by wingDeepswampwing at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Released 6 yrs ago (4/13/2012 UTC) at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland


Looking forward to the Annual BookCrossing Convention in Dublin!

Journal Entry 50 by futurecat at Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, April 14, 2012
Taken from the book buffet at the convention for tomorrow's release walk.

^ ^

Journal Entry 51 by futurecat at St Stephen's Green in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Saturday, April 28, 2012

Released 6 yrs ago (4/14/2012 UTC) at St Stephen's Green in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland


On the bridge.

Happy bookcrossing to the finder!

^ ^

P.S. If you live in the Christchurch area, you might like to join us at our monthly bookcrossing meetups. For details, see the BCNZ Yahoo Group.

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