Warning topics covered include rape and suicide. I appreciate that these are complex emotive subjects and I have made simplistic comments as prompts for discussion.
- As mentioned the book has lots of narratives. Also I think Hawkins does not make the family relationships particularly distinct. With Katie’s family, Katie was not introduced straight away, making it difficult to see how the family fitted in. At one point when, it was unclear who Katie was I may have got Shaun and Josh, confused because both young boys. I got particularly confused about Patrick’s family. Lauren was not named much; she was often just referred to naturally by Shaun as his Mum. Then I think at some point I was thinking of Helen as Patrick’s wife because she lived with him.
- If you have been eager to read this book, then the temptation is to tear through this book but perhaps, it needs to be read slower, to get familiar with the characters; I still think a character list would help; hence me providing one in my review. Unlike with Girl on the train where it is about the end destination perhaps this one is more about the journey; and time should of be taken to appreciate all the characters and sub plots.
A reviews of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Author of Girl on the Train). For those reading it or thinking of reading it onwards. Including a character list (without spoilers) which I think would have been handy at the front of the book.
- I think more could have been made about the rape of Jules. It is certainly statuary rape, because she was below age of consent. The book did not go into enough detail about the actual event for the reader to really engage. It could have been made dynamic; perhaps she partly did it as revenge against her sister for not standing up for her or at least allowed him to kiss her to get back at her sister / feel better about herself; but he then kept going further. That would have made the story more interesting.
- I also felt that the relationship between Mark and Katie; could have been explored in more detail. Was it love? Was she taken advantage of? More could have been made if the juxtaposition between Jules and Katie. Was Jules more innocent then Katie? Did Katie seduce Mark albeit she was too naive too anticipate full emotional impact. As men are less mature the age gap between a young man and mature teenage can seem smaller than it is. Yes of course he, should have had more sense but these things happen and exploring it more would have been fascinating.
- So hard to understand why Katie thought things, were so bad she had to kill herself. Not sure how well researched that was; but perhaps such deaths can often seem illogical, so it is realistic. Perhaps the history of place but suicide in mind. This week I was thinking about how when places get a reputation as a suicide spot; it can be a self fulfilling prophecy.
Also did Jules went to kill herself; perhaps that juxtaposition could have been explored too.
- I do not think it was ever revealed why Nell had been so keen to talk to Jules. Had she suspected Patrick was a murderer? Or was it one of her routine calls to Jules?