Reviewing the Pages: Dark Water

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Friendship doesn’t die, it waits…

A haunting and lyrical novel, “Dark Water” is a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession.

When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from. Her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia, disappeared after a swimming incident. But what really happened that night by the wrecks?

This read dips you into mystery from the very beginning, and paints you in the hidden hues of the darker waters throughout the entire story. The back and forth between the Helena on the island in the “now” and the Helena we see from the past is woven together very well, and nothing seems out of place or makes the read stop. The anticipation of finding out what happened to Anastasia builds and builds, and roughly about 95% into the Kindle edition, it explodes, and at the VERY end, leaves the reader in shock about what they have read. And that’s a good thing. A very, very good thing. In my mind, that’s the mark of a true twist. To throw a wrench in one’s thoughts and perceptions about the read…to make them think about what they read differently. Almost as if the book wants to be re-read; to pick up on the smaller details. I loved this read, and would recommend it to ANYONE that enjoys reading.

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First off, say hello to my new spoiler warning!

Anyway, let’s dive right on into the read with this: HOLY MOTHER OF SWEET TWISTING GOODNESS! Ahem.  Sorry.  But, the ending.  The last italicized section, changes the ENTIRE tone of the read.  As I said in my Goodreads review above, this is the kind of twist that I enjoy.  Sure, mid-book twists are good, and they give us something to think upon.  But end-book twists are wonderful.  Want to leave a reader in shock, then drop a bomb on them as they turn the page to the acknowledgements.

Thinking back on it now, there were little things dropped here and there that hinted at…something, but I brushed them aside as I was reading.  I actually had a completely different ending in mind…one where Anastasia was alive and was just hiding out in a very secluded part of the island.  And that had a hold of me until I was nearing the end of the read.  Once that realization that she was actually dead, I was on the quest to figure out what happened.  And man, it did not disappoint.

There are a lot of interesting and complex relationships within this read, both in the present and in the past.  Each and every one of them have their flaws, but that’s how human life goes.  Not all relationships, friendship or otherwise, are perfect.  Our author does great in incorporating the small-town setting into the read as well.  Coming from a very small town myself (roughly a thousand people), I totally understand that there are no hiding secrets from anyone.  I do think that some of the people in town that Helena comes into contact with know have some realization as to what did happen the night Anastasia disappeared, but don’t want to confront Helena about it.  Which can be for the very best.

I highly recommend this read to ANYONE who reads.  Period.  There is a lot of emotions in this read, with a lot of relationships growing in both positive and negative directions.  It’ll make you question things in your own life, as well as make you think on the unexpected details.

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