Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

3 “You Decide” Stars for the story and narration.

Narration by Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Imogen Church, Laura Aikman

While Into the Water did captivate my attention sufficiently to finish the book, I must admit that it suffered from several flaws: too many characters, too many shifts in time that were difficult to follow, and a lack of a consistent message or theme. It almost felt like Ms. Hawkins wavered in her decision as to what message to convey. Perhaps the most consistent theme is that women often end up being the ones that are punished for men’s lack of inhibitions when it comes to lust and adultery. However, I felt that there were many other themes introduced that would have been interesting to explore–at least as secondary plots–but were never fully developed (such as the witch trial references).

Though four different narrators were used, I also found distinguishing between the female narrators difficult. Moreover, the one I could identify, suffered from an overly breathy delivery or audible breathing.

Nonetheless I did enjoy sleuthing who the villain(s) were. Moreover, this is a book that I found that left me in contemplation mode constantly trying to discern the angle or moral of the author’s purpose for telling this story. In the end, I decided that perhaps the lack of direction may have been intentional–in order to allow the reader or listener to come to their own conclusions. This book therefore is certainly a good one for a book club discussion as it provides many different perspectives and possibilities that provide good fodder for discussion.

Source: Review copy provided for review purposes.