The Weight of Water by Penelope Evans
|The Weight of Water by Penelope Evans|
|Genre: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: A page turning story of a woman's struggle to come to terms with the changes in her life – perfect to devour on a slightly chilly, spooky evening.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 300||Date: May 2009|
|Publisher: Allison and Busby|
Sara Ravenscroft has always had a dream, a frightening dream of a little girl in a white summer dress and red shoes who stands poised on the edge of a riverbank, ready to step in and be swept away.
In the safety of her London house, surrounded by urban hum, the dream is just a dream. But Sara's husband Tom has always had plans to move to the countryside. The 7/7 tragedy gives him the final push, and he relocates them to an isolated house in Cornwall. A house with a river running through its grounds.
Here, separated from the rest of the world, Sara's dream starts to invade everyday life. She sees the child in the white dress by the river, a ghost child. Frightened, lonely and out of place away from the city, Sara gradually starts to lose grip.
Then she discovers she's pregnant. A child is not on Tom and Sara's agenda, not ever. They have all they need in each other. But Sara's body makes decisions of its own, forcing her to keep the baby, and everything she has with Tom starts to unravel further. Possessed by the ghost that haunts her house and by the Thing growing inside her, Sarah slips further and further from the person and the life she knew.
Sarah needs to discover the truth, about her dream and its connection to the house, before she becomes the one the river sweeps away.
The Weight of Water starts as a simple story about a city couple making a desperate attempt at life in the countryside. It's enjoyable – Evans draws her characters and their relationships with a deft touch, but it's only really when the ghost elements come to the fore that the story takes off and becomes unputdownable.
This is not a ghost story of the out and out horror variety. It's more of a psychological thriller, which may sound like a contradiction to what I just said, but it's the supernatural element that makes this story different. Better.
The first person, present tense narrative really puts you in the middle of Sara's struggles. Though there is more than enough going on in her life to sustain the narrative without the ghost, the added tension and mystery of the haunting perfectly compliment Sara's problems without detracting from them, and passages of the book are all the more nail biting for it.
A page turning story of a woman's struggle to come to terms with the changes in her life, The Weight of Water is the perfect book to devour on a slightly chilly, spooky evening. A delectable blend of razor sharp realism and the supernatural.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
Penelope Evans was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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