The Memory of Water

( 43 )

Overview

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 back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally ...

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The Memory of Water

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Overview

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 back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana's ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The enduring ties between two estranged sisters drive the darkly engaging latest from White (Learning to Breathe). Marnie Maitland, an Arizona school teacher, returns to her South Carolina Lowcountry hometown after a 10-year absence at the request of Quinn, the ex-husband of Marnie's sister, Diana. Quinn believes Marnie can help Gil, the nine-year-old nephew she's never met, who has refused to speak since a sailing accident almost claimed Gil and Diana's lives. As Marnie begins to bond with Gil (and with Quinn), she instinctively senses that Diana's simmering anger toward her is tied to the childhood sailing accident that killed their mother but spared the two girls. Marnie remembers little of the accident, which is cloaked in mystery, as is Diana's obsession with "the Maitland curse" (related to a murky blasphemy from previous generations) and the mental illness that runs in the family. As Marnie tries to get at the truth, the first-person narrative is tersely handed among the four leads. Careful plotting, richly flawed characters and a surprising conclusion mark this absorbing melodrama. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451223036
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 203,932
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen White

After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. This book was nominated for the prestigious RITA award in 2001 in two separate categories. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including another RITA, the Georgia Author of the Year Award and in 2008 won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Learning to Breathe.

Karen currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—southern women’s fiction—and has recently expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston. Her tenth novel, The Lost Hours, will be released in trade paperback by New American Library, a division of Penguin Publishing Group, in April 2009.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two teenaged children, and a spoiled Havanese dog (who appears in several of her books), Quincy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, singing, playing piano, chauffeuring children and avoiding cooking.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 43 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    INTERESTING READ!

    Marnie Matlaind, an Arizona school teacher, returns to her birthplace in South Carolina, after being gone for almost a decade to help in the healing of her traumatized nine-year old nephew she's never met. The story revolves around memory of the boating accident where her mother was killed. Suprises answer some questions and brings an amazing and powerful conclusion to this family drama. Interesting read!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2008

    Amazing family drama

    Marnie Matlaind returns to her Lowcountry birthplace after being gone for a decade to help in the healing of her traumatized nine-year old nephew she's never met. At her return, Marnie is forced to face the demons of her childhood, the drowning death of her mother, and the Maitland curse that has haunted her family for generations. White uses first person narrative of each of the four main characters. This allows the reader to see different angles of the story. The characters are quite real and believable, as is the anguish that each feels due to the mental instability that seems to have been passed down through the Maitland family. A suprising ending answers several unknowns and brings an amazing and powerful conclusion to this family drama.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A powerful family drama

    After being away from her hometown for almost a decade, Arizona school teacher Marnie Maitland returns home to McLellanville, South Carolina. She only came back to the Low Country because her former brother-in-law Quinn begged her to help her nine-year-old nephew Gil whom she has never met.----------- As Marnie and Gil connect and to a lesser degree she with Quinn, her sister Diana resents her intruding in the life of her son and for that matter hers. Marnie realizes her sibling is angry with her and assumes the reason is the boating accident when they were kids that killed their mother while they survived. Whereas Marnie recalls little of that fatal day, Diana has tied the accident to the ¿Maitland Curse¿ that has haunted the family for decades.----------- THE MEMORY OF WATER is a strong family drama due to the four prime players feeling real especially their flawed interrelationships. The story line smoothly changes viewpoint between the quartet so the audience sees different looks at the same event or issue especially how the sisters interpret their mother¿s death. With a final plausible yet surprising twist, readers will be LEARNING TO BREATHE while waiting for her next tale.---------- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2008

    A reviewer

    I generally only read books from the top of the NYT list, but on a recommendation from a firend, I read Karen White's most recent issue. I was VERY plesed that I did. The book is written from a point of view that only a skilled writer can pull off, and she did it with tremendous efficiency and wonderfully written prose. The plot is well concealed as you make your way through this story. You never know when - or who - will reveal the next twist to this captivating story. After reccomending this book to a few of my friends, I learned that I was behind the times in reading White's works. I have just begun reading 'Learning to Breath' and am finding it just as pleasurable. The NYT list can'tbe far behind!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2008

    Memory of Water

    Sixteen years ago, Marnie¿s mother drowned. She could not remember everything that happened that fateful night, but she knew she had lost two things that day that she dearly loved--her passion for sailing and the love of her sister. She escaped to the dessert pledging never to go near the ocean again. A call for help brought her home again. Marnie was determined to help her nephew but had to work through her own problems to do so. The Memory of Water by Karen White is not a fast read. This is one of those books that you want to savor every word. The plot is gripping. The characters are multifaceted. Diana and Marnie are sisters that at one time dearly loved each other. The Memory of Water explores the relationship of sisters and the dynamics of living with a person that is bi-polar. The sisters are forced to face ghosts from their past. Karen White draws readers into her plot. She successfully moves from one narrator to another, each telling their part with a distinct voice, fitting together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. There are several twists that will keep the reader turning pages. I found this book to be captivating. If you enjoy high drama this is the book for you.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2008

    A Haunting tale

    When I read Karen White's The Memory of Water it was like watching an artist paint, with every word she writes you can actually see the landscape she describes come to life. It was a haunting tale of mental illness and about those who survive it and those who don't. A bewitching tale of love and loss and love found at last, about the story of sisters and a love that only sisters can share and understand. This book is a must read for any of you out there that love great fiction.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2012

    Great book

    Love it great book great characters

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2008

    Memory of Water

    Sixteen years ago, Marnie¿s mother drowned. She could not remember everything that happened that fateful night, but she knew she had lost two things that day that she dearly loved, her passion for sailing and the love of her sister. She escaped to the dessert pledging never to go near the ocean again. A call for help brought her home again. Marnie was determined to help her nephew but had to work through her own problems to do so. The Memory of Water by Karen White is not a fast read. This is one of those books that you want to savor every word. The plot is gripping. The characters are multifaceted. Diana and Marnie are sisters that at one time dearly loved each other. The Memory of Water explores the relationship of sisters and the dynamics of living with a person that is bi-polar. The sisters are forced to face ghosts from their past. Karen White draws readers in to her plot. She successfully moves from one narrator to another, each telling their part with a distinct voice, fitting together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. There are several twists that will keep the reader turning pages. I found this book to be captivating. If you enjoy high drama this is the book for you. .

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    Beautifully flawed characters bring this story to life!

    In Memory of Water Karen White creates starkly real and beautifully drawn characters and then allows us to experience the story through each of their points of view. Even Marnie and Diana's grandfather 'speaks' though he no longer has a voice. The author also gives voice to the lush setting as she digs into the heart of this family saga.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 31, 2012

    A Memorable Read

    Karen White has written another "hard to put down" novel. She always incorporates something more in her story. This time it is the haunting memories of a near death experience as a child and her work with her nephew who will not speak due to a similar circumstance. As always there is a surprise ending that leaves the reader saying "ahh haah!" A thoroughly satisfying read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    Makes You Think

    Karen White does not write a bad book. They are filled with everything you want a book to have and since discovering her books when I read The House On Tradd Street I search for her books and they are always very good

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good Rainy Day read

    Another enjoyable book from Karen White. Not my fvortie of hers, but if you love books about the Carolina Coast, and the compex characters that usually come with it, you will enjoy this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Love this author and this book is good.

    Karen White is good at making you care for her characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Faty

    Sniffles

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Page turning

    What a plot twisting book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    UGH

    I couldn't agree more with reviewer Carrie (06/18/2008). This was my first and last book by this author. I couldn't stand it from page one and quit reading it about one-third of the way through, just skimming the rest.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    Very Disappointing

    This book had the potential to be so much more, but it seems that the author is so impressed with her plot and so intent on making it 'poignant' and 'gripping' that she took the easy way out. She pulled out every Lifetime-movie plot device, threw it on the page, and tried to hide it in flowery prose. The characters are one-demensional and annoying, and you can see the cliche, completely disappointing ending coming from chapter 5.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2008

    Okay

    I was expecting much better from this book. While I enjoyed Karen's style of writing I felt at times it was repetitive. I also didn't find the 'mystery' to be that mysertious.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2008

    Overrated

    I thought this book was just ok. I found it repetitious and tedious. And as for the 'surprise' ending as one review called it, I guessed at it about midway through the book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 43 Customer Reviews

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