Author: Jeni McFarland

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: G.P. Putnam Sons

Publication Date: April 21, 2020

Book Description: Perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge, in this stunning and perceptive debut novel three women learn what it means to come home–and to make peace with the family, love affairs, and memories they’d once left behind.

“Here are voices from the heartland rendered real, raw, and aching. . . . Reminiscent of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, this novel announces Jeni McFarland as a writer of our generation.” –Aja Gabel, author of The Ensemble

River Bend, Michigan, is the kind of small town most can’t imagine leaving, but three women couldn’t wait to escape. When each must return–Linda Williams, never sure what she wants; her mother, Paula, always too sure; and Beth DeWitt, one of River Bend’s only black daughters, now a mother of two who’d planned to raise her own children anywhere else–their paths collide under Beth’s father’s roof. As one town struggles to contain all of their love affairs and secrets, a local scandal forces Beth to confront her own devastating past. 

Filled with the voices of mothers and daughters, husbands, lovers, and fathers, The House of Deep Water explores motherhood, trauma, love, loss, and new beginnings found in a most unlikely place: home.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: This is a lovely quiet novel sent in small town Michigan. Reading the comparison’s to the books above, I can most align this to Kent Haruf’s Plainsong trilogy. There are a lot of character’s in this story that make this book flow.

You will meet Linda, who has just left her husband and is moving back to this small, town. Paula, who has never left and is staple here, and Beth, a divorcee with two kids, she also happens to be the only black person in this town. Each woman is striving to start over and will come together, not necessarily because they want to, but because they are forced.

This is a very raw look at these women’s lives and how they need to confront long time demons. Though you will spend time with each character, and more, Beth is the glue that holds this story together. At times the writing is sparse, but beautiful. To watch these women discover themselves was just so nice.

If you love literary fiction this will be for you. This is not heavy on plot, but the character development is superb.

Thank you NetGalley and G.P. Putnam Sons for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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