The book of the week is Anita Shreve’s The Weight of Water. This is an earlier work than others I’ve read by the same author…The Pilot’s Wife written in 1998 and Light on Snow in 2004. I absolutely loved her style of writing and the two other books kept me entertained on my first long-hauling journey. Light on Snow is perhaps one of my favourites for the past decade….a beautiful read!
This one is ‘dark’ and the reader is swept into a feeling of mystery and fear. Shreve is such a successful writer in that she develops such different settings and delves into the subtle aspects of character. This story of murder and distrust was written just after the O.J. Simpson trial was ending.
“The Isles of Shoals, an archipelago, lie in the Atlantic, ten miles southeast off the New Hampshire coast at Portsmouth. The islands measure three and a half miles north and south by one and a half miles east and west. There are nine islands at high tide, eight at low; White and Seavey are connected. The largest island looked to its residents like a fat pig wallowing in the sea, and hence the name of Hog. Smuttynose, our destination, derived its name from a clump of seaweed on the nose of a rock extending into the ocean.”
The protagonist is a female photographer who is capturing images and reading chronicles from March 1873 when two women were murdered on the island of Smuttynose. She is engaged in her own emotional struggles with her poet-husband all the while exploring the internal struggles of ‘people of another time’, especially Maren, through journals/archives that she has ‘borrowed’.
I’m looking forward to working my way through the complete list of Anita Shreve’s books….a compelling author!