Book Reviews of The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water
The Weight of Water
Author: Anita Shreve
ISBN-13: 9780316780377
ISBN-10: 0316780375
Publication Date: 1/7/1998
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 442

3.5 stars, based on 442 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

84 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Weight of Water on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I'm sure it's all been said already. Incredibly moving, thought provoking novel about the little mistakes that can change everything. From the beginning to the end, the novel is quickly paced, taut with foreshadowing and suspense, and the modern day story mixed in with the past is seamless in it's telling. I stayed up until 3 am reading it - truly one of my favorites!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Complex and sensitive.
There is the story surrounding the murders that occurred on Smuttynose off the coast of New Hampshire, and there is the story of the photographer who is many a photojournal 100 yrars later. As with all things, there is the event, and there are the complexities of the lives around the event. The lives of the 1800's and the lives a hundres years later are more interesting perhaps than the event.
The book is complex and sensitive.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The was my first audio book - back in the day! And I have forever been hooked. What a fantastic story, and narrated so beautifully. Anita Shreve's writing is stunning and flawless, and the narration in this production captures every nuance and emotion. Get lost in this one. Totally credit-worthy!!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A disturbing story, but the writing is excellent. You must pay close attention as parallel stories weave in and out without warning. Some inexplicable moments....what exactly happened with Evan and Maren?
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The author unravels themes of adultery, jealousy, crimes of passion, incest, negligence, loss and guilt; ultimately creating an almost intolerable tension. It seems to have something for every reader.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This was an intriguing book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Covers some very strong emotional issues, and grief is one of them.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 266 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really didn't like this book at all. I read it under the pretense that it was based on a true story, only to find after research that great liberties were taken. This always turns me off. If you're an Anita Shreve fan, you might like this one.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book took a little time to get into. The book has two stories going on at the same time. The stories take place 100 plus years apart, but the main characters have a lot in common. Once you get into the book it is hard to put down because the author leaves you hanging at each story climax. I also did not see the endings of both stories coming. The endings are pretty unpredictable. I liked this book enough to read more works from this author.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
not my favorite... a little dull for me
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this book. It was well written, and it explored several issues including incest and grief. Anita Shreve is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorite books.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Dual story of a modern day marriage in trouble and a historical account of of a mysterious muder on an island. I thought it was interesting, though definitely not a page turner
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 153 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I picked this book up at a resale shop. I thought it might be interesting because I once lived in New England and one of my friends used to spend summers on the Isles of Shoals doing research work. She said that she could not imagine what winters there must be like. The area is rather desolate. Trees don't grow there. The wind is always a factor and it gets so very cold in the winter.
In 1873, two women are found murdered on the island of Smuttynose. A man is accused of their murder. He is hanged - this is the last death sentence carried out in the history of Maine. So the novel is based on some facts with the author's imagination completing the story.
You have to get used to the author's pacing in telling the story. There are actually two stories: the present day story of someone writing about the murders, and the story told in 1873. Anita Shreve switches back and forth from present to past in the same chapter.
I thought the book was well done and very interesting.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A novel set in new England, winner of the Winship Award and contains a reading group guide. It is a story of the death of two women in 1873 on Smuttynose Island and it is the story of uncovering the facts and fictions needed to make a modern novel. Some say this is Anita Shreve's best. I think they are all good.Read it and enjoy...
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book, always can count on Anita Shreve. Story is in 2 parts, very cleverly interwoven to make person try to read all in one night. I read in two nights. Realistic mental thoughts from main character. Sorry sad and bad ending but true to life. Good description on imigrating population from Norway in 1800's. Unusual book.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellant!!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
AMAZING BOOK!!! really enjoyed it.
reviewed The Weight of Water on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a unique blend of a mystery from 1873 as well as a modern emotional trauma intermingled. As with other Anita Shreve books, her character development is excellent.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had the end figured out rather early on, but still worth the read!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In one word, depressing.

It's the mid-nineties and Jean, her husband Thomas, and her daughter Billie are on a chartered boat with her brother-in-law Rich and his girlfriend, Adeline. Jean has to do a photo essay of some islands off the coast of Maine where a horrific murder took place in the 1800's. Jean becomes fascinated with the crime, starts to believe that her husband is having an affair, and becomes so emotionally unstable that she finds she is capable of committing horrific acts.

The book is one of those 'story within a story' books. I found the jumps to be, well, too jumpy. I didn't mind the chapter in the present time and then the chapter in the 1800's. What really bothered me was the paragraph in present times then the sentence in 1800's then the next sentence present times. It was all over the place and too confusing. This book is filled with a cast of really unlikeable characters, and typically when that happens in books, the characters have some redeeming quality that makes you overlook it. That doesn't happen in this book.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 379 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The first Anita Shreve I read, very good fast read.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
My favorite Anita Shreve book!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am by far not a fan of Anita Shreve's writing style but really enjoyed this one.
reviewed The Weight of Water on
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't put this book down.
It was great!!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really, really enjoyed this book. The writing is very poetic and inviting, and the mixture of fact and fiction is compelling. I'm going to try some more of this author's books.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 959 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Well-written, but it never really grabbed me. Shreve uses two intertwined tales to observe the destructive force of jealousy.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another great book by Anita Shreve. She is a wonderful writer and makes you feel like you really know her characters.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 307 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Agreat book. Another story that is far better than a first glance at the cover would suggest. You can feel the tension flow off the page and you can't put it down. You just have to know what happens next.
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This book was two stories flipping back and forth. It was highly recommended but I thought it was only 'ok'.
reviewed The Weight of Water on
For Jean Janes, a photographer with the local newspaper, a century-old crime has held her spellbound for the longest time. In 1895, a crime of passion caused the deaths of two women and the temporary disappearance of another. Jean plans to write an article for her newspaper about the murder case, complete with photographs of the island where the bodies of the women were eventually found, and where the survivor was discovered cowering in a cave along the shore.

Posing the question to her readers: "If you take a woman and push her to edge, how will she behave?", Jean sets out to write her article. In 1995, she arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine and immerses herself in the details of the case. Deciding that she will make a vacation of the time she spends researching the case; Jean, her husband Thomas and their five-year-old daughter Billie plan to go sailing with Thomas' younger brother Rich and Rich's new girlfriend Adaline.

So Jean immerses herself in Maine of the late nineteenth-century and in the grisly details of the most shocking crime of the century. Although for some strange reason, she just can't shake the feeling of history repeating itself. Jean herself is entering some truly precarious emotional territory: suspicion and jealousy. The niggling suspicion that her husband Thomas is having an affair quickly flares into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences.

In this riveting and deeply moving story of irresistible emotions and irrevocable actions, Anita Shreve takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the farthest extremes of emotion. I must say that I have always enjoyed Anita Shreve's writing, and The Weight of Water is no exception. Ms. Shreve writes detail driven and emotional storylines, and I found myself completely immersed in this story immediately. I loved this book and give it an A+!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 275 more book reviews
Loved it...Always love Anita Shreve!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 114 more book reviews
The story of a woman who revisits a century-old crime and confronts the suspicions buried deep in her own marriage. Another gripping tale by Anita Shreve.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 18 more book reviews
Very deep...no pun intended...book that takes you on a journey of human emotions and psycological tension. I loved it.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 44 more book reviews
very good, mystery. keeps you reading and guessing until the end.
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Fascinating story.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 33 more book reviews
This is a totally engrossing plot within a plot of an old unsolved murder in the 1800's. The main character is a woman writer who researchs and writes new stories on old crimes.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 9 more book reviews
This is my absolute favorite Anita Shreve book- well written and compelling.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 75 more book reviews
A page turner once I got into it! Very well written. Anita Shreve has written a novel of two different tales that are unusually entwined. Gripping and compelling!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 239 more book reviews
I didn't care for this book much. I loved the characters, but the story was weak. I had it figured out half way through, both things that happen at the end, so it was kind of a yawner for me. I only finished it because I kept thinking that something big was going to happen, a twist that would make me laugh at myself for thinking I was so smart to figure it out. Nay, that did not happen. *yawn*
reviewed The Weight of Water on
Great book - finished it in a day at the beach!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 7 more book reviews
I loved this book, the story will stay with me for a long time!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 4 more book reviews
This book has a tone and an ambiance that stays with you the entire time you read it as well as after it's over. The story of a woman photographing a historic murder site for a magazine is just the background for her own troubled desires and suspicions.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 14 more book reviews
Another great book by Anita Shreve. Also read The Pilot's Wife it is great.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 6 more book reviews
Difficult to keep to the story; hard to follow.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 69 more book reviews
Incredible book, keeps you interested until the final page. Excellent character develpoment.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 3 more book reviews
Interesting story. However, I saw the ending coming.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 43 more book reviews
I read the book a while ago and enjoyed it. I recently see the movie they made based on the book and that I did NOT enjoy. I recommend the book not the film. Its amazing how much better books can tell stories.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 22 more book reviews
Gripping!
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A good story.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 3 more book reviews
I LOVED this book! The plot, characters and the way the story is told were terrific. I couldn't put it down!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 133 more book reviews
From Amazon.com
"A newspaper photographer, Jean, researches the lurid and sensational ax murder of two women in 1873 as an editorial tie-in with a brutal modern double murder. She discovers a cache of papers that appear to give an account of the murders by an eyewitness. The plot weaves between the narrative of the eyewitness and Jean's private struggle with jealousies and suspicions as her marriage teeters. A rich, textured novel."
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 26 more book reviews
Anita Shreve never disappoints!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 30 more book reviews
Excellent writing. The parallel story lines pull you in. One of Shreve's best.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 63 more book reviews
This was a very good book a little slow in the middle but it picked up momentum towards the end and had a great climax.

Hilda
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 51 more book reviews
Shreve is at her finest in this book. Wonderful!!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 22 more book reviews
A great book, haunting.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 18 more book reviews
Great book that will keep you compulsively reading to the end!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 32 more book reviews
Another great story by Anita Shreve
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"If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" is the question asked by Jean, a photographer, who arrives in Maine to research a century-old crime of passion. Great read.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 326 more book reviews
I enjoyed this one probably 2nd best of all her books. Esp the parts set in the last century. Shocking ending, not for the lighthearted.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 135 more book reviews
Ever since the "Pilot's Wife", I have read Shreve's books. This was a great read.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 110 more book reviews
The story started out slow,about a quarter into it I COULD'NT PUT it down. Very good story line,keeps you thinking til the end. I loved it!!!!!
Jolained
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 2 more book reviews
this was an excellent book. If you saw the movie on HBO and liked it you will really like the book. Huge difference between the movie and the book. The book has a lot more info and if you saw the movie you will be totatly surprised by the ending of the book.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 63 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It took me about two days, and I really enjoyed the switch between what was happening now and the historical piece. Good beach book!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 68 more book reviews
"I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case-an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women-Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicios that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of-actions with horrific consequences. Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of Water takes us on an unforgettable journey trhough the farthest extremes of emotion.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 86 more book reviews
This is one of those times where I saw the movie prior to reading the book and I enjoyed both. There are some variances between book and movie, and the next moment lines from the film are verbatim from the novel. That works, because I've seen the movie a few times and there are some scenes I didn't quite "get", and the book sort of filled them in, but also there's a twist or two that is not in the movie. This is so well-written that I have a tough time distinguishing fact from fiction, and I feel that's exactly what a good novel should provide.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 104 more book reviews
One of my favorite authors...I am only parting with this book because I have two copies.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 3 more book reviews
Loved the parallel stories f present and past
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 35 more book reviews
Not her best...but still a good book.
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Jean,a photographer,who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose IslaND,oFF THE COAST OF mAINE,TO RESEARCH A CENTURY-OLD CRIME.
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well written
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 23 more book reviews
Also wrote "The Pilot's Wife" and "All He Ever Wanted". Like all Anita Shreve's books -- you can't put the book down until you have finished it!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 8 more book reviews
Excelent!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 81 more book reviews
From the cover: "I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave?" The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who, in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case - an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women - Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences.Everywhere hailed for its beauty and power, The Weight of Water takes us on an unforgettable journey through the farthest extremes of emotion.
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Here's the Author's Note from inside my book. I thought this might be helpful as to what the book is about:

During the night of March 5, 1873, two women, Norwegian immigrants, were murdered on the Isles of Schoals, a group of islands ten miles off the New Hampshire coast. a third woman survived, hiding in a sea cave until dawn. The passages of court testimony included in this book are taken verbatim from the transcript of The State Of Main v. Louis H.F. Wagner. Apart from recorded historical facts, the names, characters, places and incidents portrayed in this work are either the products of the author's imagination or, if real are used fictitiously. The matter of who killed Anethe and Karen Christiansen was settled in a court of law but has continued to be debated for more than a century.

I enjoyed this book.
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From Publishers Weekly: "In 1873, two women living on the Isles of Shoals, a lonely, windswept group of islands off the coast of New Hampshire, were brutally murdered. A third woman survived, cowering in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, Jean, a magazine photographer working on a photoessay about the murders, returns to the Isles with her husband, Thomas, and their five-year-old daughter, Billie, aboard a boat skippered by her brother-in-law, Rich, who has brought along his girlfriend, Adaline. As Jean becomes immersed in the details of the 19th-century murders, Thomas and Adaline find themselves drawn together-with potentially ruinous consequences. Shreve (Where or When; Resistance) perfectly captures the ubiquitous dampness of life on a sailboat, deftly evoking the way in which the weather comes to dictate all actions for those at sea. With the skill of a master shipbuilder, Shreve carefully fits her two stories together, tacking back and forth between the increasingly twisted murder mystery and the escalating tensions unleashed by the threat of a dangerous shipboard romance. Written with assurance and grace, plangent with foreboding and a taut sense of inexorability, The Weight of Water is a powerfully compelling tale of passion, a provocative and disturbing meditation on the nature of love." Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
reviewed The Weight of Water on
This novel and Shreve's other book, "The Last Time They Met" are intertwined. The hero and his spouse appear in both novels. If it were me, I'd read "The Weight of Water" first. It explains the shocking ending of "The Last Time They Met." You don't have to read "The Last Time They Met" to realize the full impact of this story. Like so many of Anita Shreve's works, this one is very emotional. She has a way of ending a book in such a way you're left thinking about it days later. This isn't light summer reading for the beach. She explores how jealousy and misunderstanding can lead a person to do unthinkable things that forever shape their lives and lives of others in tragic ways.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 10 more book reviews
Couldn't stop reading but a bit too morbid for me. Good quick read, great dialouge, all and all very well written.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 19 more book reviews
"If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how wil she behave?" That's the question posed by Jean, a photograhper, who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case -- an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two women -- Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is havng an affair burgeons into jealously and distrust and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences. Very good -- a page turner!
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 7 more book reviews
I wonder this: If you take a woman and push her to the edge, how will she behave? The question is posed by Jean, a photographer, who in 1995 arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine, to research a century-old crime. As she immerses herself in the details of the case- an outburst of passion that resulted in the deaths of two wome - Jean herself enters precarious emotional territory. The suspicion that her husband is having an affair burgeons into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 16 more book reviews
On a small island off the New Hampshire coast in 1873, two women were brutally murdered by an unknown assailant. A third woman survived the attack, hiding in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, a photographer comes to the island to shoot a photo-essay about the legendary crime.
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Excellent book by one of my favorite authors. My book has a different cover, the one from the movie adaptation. There is also a Bookcrossing label on the inside front cover.
reviewed The Weight of Water on + 78 more book reviews
In 1873, two women living on the Isles of Shoals, a lonely, windswept group of islands off the coast of New Hampshire, were brutally murdered. A third woman survived, cowering in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, Jean, a magazine photographer working on a photoessay about the murders, returns to the Isles with her husband, Thomas, and their five-year-old daughter, Billie, aboard a boat skippered by her brother-in-law, Rich, who has brought along his girlfriend, Adaline. As Jean becomes immersed in the details of the 19th-century murders, Thomas and Adaline find themselves drawn together-with potentially ruinous consequences. Shreve (Where or When; Resistance) perfectly captures the ubiquitous dampness of life on a sailboat, deftly evoking the way in which the weather comes to dictate all actions for those at sea. With the skill of a master shipbuilder, Shreve carefully fits her two stories together, tacking back and forth between the increasingly twisted murder mystery and the escalating tensions unleashed by the threat of a dangerous shipboard romance. Written with assurance and grace, plangent with foreboding and a taut sense of inexorability, The Weight of Water is a powerfully compelling tale of passion, a provocative and disturbing meditation on the nature of love.
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A major motion picture from Lions Gate Films. Not the same cover that is shows but has the cover of the movie.
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Cover is from the movie