About this book…
‘Julia, it’s me. I need you to call me back. Please, Julia. It’s important . . .’
In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help.
Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind.
But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped.
And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .
Having been a huge fan of The Girl in the Train (book not film!) I was desperate to read Into the Water and about 4 hours after it was delivered to my kindle on publication day I was awake and completely immersed in it, reading 40% before I had to get up. I had deliberately stayed away from reviews so I could go in blind with no preconceptions. It must have been difficult writing that dreaded second novel for Paula Hawkins. Would she have to endure the “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” reactions from fans of her bestselling debut? She couldn’t keep to the same formula as before but by giving readers something entirely different are they likely to say ” It’s no TGOTT is it? “. Therefore I was determined to judge this novel for what it was, not who it was by or by what came before it. And my overall impression of Into the Water was very positive! I really enjoyed it and struggled to put it down!
There were peaks and troughs for me though. The first part I enjoyed but I was probably more concerned with getting my head around the large number of narrators who were setting up their stories. The second part I loved as I settled into who was who and started to form my own suspicions about what had happened to Nel. By part three the action had definitely speeded up (this is the definitive slow burner!) and this was probably when the book became totally unputdownable for me. And then came part four…….and I felt the last part of this storyline, unfortunately, came as a bit of an anticlimax after the previous dramatic happenings and left more questions than it answered! But that is the only negative I have here, and it may have been down to my high expectations more than anything else. I might read it again in a few months and have a very different opinion after that initial reaction!
The theme of water running through the narrative was what made this stand out for me. I have a love/hate relationship with water in that I always have to be near it, to see it and hear it from my home but I don’t like to be actually IN it! So the scenes where the women entered the water were the ones that filled me with the most fear- the authors perfectly observed, descriptive prose gave me goosebumps and chills that I wasn’t expecting. In fact, this book was just so beautifully worded, almost poetic, pretty much all the way through. There were phrases used that I was actually in awe of as they captured emotions and idiosyncrasies in a way I hadn’t expected to experience.The whole atmosphere felt dark and claustrophobic with the river always there, bubbling away in the background hiding its secrets from generation to generation. And as all the threads of the multiple voices came together, the water was always trying to get the last word in.
I actually feel as if TGOTT was the commercial success that allowed Paula Hawkins to head out into her own open water and see where her creativity and imagination would take her and she’s certainly crafted a book that will get divide opinions and get everyone talking about it (TGOTT flashback anyone?!) People WILL buy this book, some readers will compare it unfavourably to its predecessor whilst others will rave to the rafters about it-but ultimately, everyone will take away something different from it. Me? I will remember the poignant relationship between two sisters that transcends the secrets and guilt that has kept them apart. And the water…..
Into the Water: From the bestselling author of The Girl on the Train is now available to buy on Amazon UK.
About the author…
Paula Hawkins is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, which was made into a major motion picture.