It’s no secret that I am a reader. The obsessive kind really. Reading created a haven for me growing up, away from feeling like a misfit, far from really crappy days, light years beamed from anything I wanted away from when I couldn’t go anywhere else.
It’s also no secret that friends hate going to the bookstore with me. That’s two sides of annoyance: a) I wander even when I know exactly what I’m looking for and b) I feel the need to ceremoniously visit books I’ve already read as if looking through a photo album of past trips.
And I’ll add that I don’t like reading what everyone else has just because everyone talks about it. Catchy plots written just to get attention and poorly written novels get entirely too much spotlight. Especially when some winner decides to turn the so called book into a *cringe* movie.
So when I tell you I rolled my eyes when The Handmaids Tale series caught fire, it’s truth. Bait and click. Click and bait. I’m cautious. I don’t trust easily anymore.
But I finally caved and got the book. Less than twenty four hours and my mind is blown. However good the series might be, and I’m sure it’s fine, I promise you the book is better. The series provides actors to experience it for you. The book you’re forced to experience it yourself.
That’s an argument for another day. This novel is a warning. A promise. A prophecy of sorts. As a staunch believer in women’s rights being human rights, because I was raised to believe in equality, I can see the haunting parallels.
This isn’t a great read. It’s a must read. I’ve read a lot of words and dystopian novels but I’ve never been left so unsettled by anything as I was this tale.
Hopefully, the chaos will calm and this will merely stay a tale. I have my doubts and I have my hope. In my hope, our children do better than we have. In my doubts, all I hear is the noise of precariously terrible listeners only wanting to hear their own noise.
But I digress. Everyone should read this. We must demand better. Not better for some and worse for most. Better for all.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Raise your hand if you loved Girl on a Train. Keep your hand up if you’d be interested in more books by Ruth Waring.
Because you should be interested in more books by Ruth Waring.
It’s not so much an order as much as a need. You need balance in your life. Normal novels, romance novels, comedy, and crazy as CRAP novels. This novel balances your life out.
I just finished the week after my fall break, which the week after a break is generally barbaric in the education world. Fall Break wasn’t a magical block of space for much but it was for reading. I read until my eyeballs threatened to divorce me.
And one of the books I read (in two sittings) was Into the Water. The narrator’s sister turned up dead, so she had to make her way back to her hometown that she swore she’d never return to in order to retrieve her sister’s daughter and go about the funeral arrangements. The way the narrator saunters through her childhood home at the opening of the book as if she’s walking through figments of time takes you into the four walls of memorabilia and dust and the smell of suspicion. The words transport you into an abyss the characters take turns creating for the reader to go down.
Each character is somehow linked to the death of her sister, or to someone who died in a mysterious pool down by the river. Each character uses their past and their present and tries to somehow convince the reader their hands are clean in their own way, while the reader remains suspicious of everyone. This handiwork is all created while telling the stories of the people of a small town affected by a supposedly cursed pool.
And I am here to tell you: you want to read this novel. The truth lies in the collision of past, present, confessions, and afterthoughts of what happened to the narrator’s sister, what happened to the victims of the pool, the truth of character of the characters. It all lies in the collision of time. I highly recommend this read. My dachshunds, however, would probably tell you they were catastrophically neglected for the three hours it took their mother to finish reading and processing. Oh the woes of being a spoiled dachshund.