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The Memory of Water
The Memory of Water
Author: Karen White
On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood. — After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780451223036
ISBN-10: 0451223039
Publication Date: 3/4/2008
Pages: 336
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 176 ratings
Publisher: NAL Trade
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Memory of Water on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I'll tell you up front: I did not finish reading this book. I stopped a little more than halfway through it.

The story is constantly changing viewpoints, sometimes maybe 3 or all 4 in a single chapter. Keeping track of who's who, what their emotions are, what they're thinking, not to mention the other characters in the story who do not give their viewpoints, it made for a confusing book. It might make for an interesting concept, to tell the story at the same time from the 4 main characters' points of view, but it did not do well in execution, imo.

I have a young son, and I can't just sit down and read a book straight through anymore. Because of this, The Memory of Water was never a fresh enough memory in my mind for me to keep up with it.

Her writing style is a little similar to Anne Rivers Siddons, and the story is set in the Carolina Lowcountry, just like a couple of Siddons' novels. White writes with great detail, you really feel like you can smell the air and the water and the mud. I love ARS, so I thought I'd love this book as well.

Others will probably love this book; it just was not for me.
reviewed The Memory of Water on
Helpful Score: 6
I found the book to be incredibly boring and a little weird. Aside from the ever-changing point of view, the story itself was confusing at times. It has great promise, but I found that actually reading the novel fell far short of what I expected. I also found the "big surprise" at the end to be rather drab and predictable. I hope someone else can get the joy out of this book that I originally hoped for.
reviewed The Memory of Water on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I love books which are set in the Lowcountry and/or along a beachfront. However, I didn't love this book (I love Luanne Rice's books). I was put off by the cheesy, repetitive descriptions (stormy eyes...repeated so many times that it became stale and meaningless). There was this big mysterious past event that the author tried to build up, but it was so obvious what had happened that the build-up was silly and melodramatic.

If you're drawn to stories of family turmoil, you may enjoy this book. For me, it was just mediocre.
reviewed The Memory of Water on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book to me was awfully hard to read. I usually love anything by Karen White, but this one was just too hard to follow. I had to constantly go back to see "who" I was supposed to be reading in that chapter. I have only about 10 pages to finish it, and I will finish, but I will be careful in getting any more of her books.
reviewed The Memory of Water on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a pretty lousy book. Poorly written and poorly researched.
The basic plot is about sisters separated for years after a traumatic boat accident kills their mother and almost kills them. The younger sister returns to their childhood home to help with her nephew, who has gone mute after another sailing accident almost kills him and his mother, the elder sister.
The entire book is first person, jumping around between the characters, including a young boy who has become mute after a trauma. There was little discernible difference in the voices of the vastly different characters - the thought processes of the young boy seemed identical to that of his mother or aunt or father, who were similarly interchangeable.
The big secrets - like what happened the night of the two sailing accidents that set the plot in motion - are obvious to the reader from the get go.
The characters are inconsistent in their likes/dislikes and characterizations - for instance, the mother alternately loves sailing, hates sailing, is good at it, is terrible at it.
Plus, the sailing details were just bad. If the author doesn't know how to sail herself, she shouldn't have written a book that pivoted on sailing.
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reviewed The Memory of Water on
As always Karen White makes it impossible not to lose yourself in her characters....
reviewed The Memory of Water on + 5 more book reviews
I love all of her books , this one was a standout !
reviewed The Memory of Water on
An interesting book for those who like to read about healing from psychological family trauma with some romance development thrown in. Good detail about living and sailing in the Low Country. Easy reading that pulls you in.