The Drowning House

( 19 )

Overview

A gripping suspense story about a woman who returns to Galveston, Texas after a personal tragedy and is irresistibly drawn into the insular world she’s struggled to leave. 

Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and ...
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The Drowning House: A Novel

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Overview

A gripping suspense story about a woman who returns to Galveston, Texas after a personal tragedy and is irresistibly drawn into the insular world she’s struggled to leave. 

Photographer Clare Porterfield's once-happy marriage is coming apart, unraveling under the strain of a family tragedy. When she receives an invitation to direct an exhibition in her hometown of Galveston, Texas, she jumps at the chance to escape her grief and reconnect with the island she hasn't seen for ten years. There Clare will have the time and space to search for answers about her troubled past and her family's complicated relationship with the wealthy and influential Carraday family. 

Soon she finds herself drawn into a century-old mystery involving Stella Carraday. Local legend has it that Stella drowned in her family's house during the Hurricane of 1900, hung by her long hair from the drawing room chandelier. Could Stella have been saved? What is the true nature of Clare's family's involvement? The questions grow like the wildflower vines that climb up the walls and fences of the island. And the closer Clare gets to the answers, the darker and more disturbing the truth becomes.

Steeped in the rich local history of Galveston, The Drowning House is an absorbing and atmospheric debut novel about family secrets that portrays two families, inextricably linked by tragedy and time.

"The Drowning House marks the emergence of an impressive new literary voice. Elizabeth Black's suspenseful inquiry into dark family secrets is enriched by a remarkable succession of images, often minutely observed, that bring characters, setting, and story sharply into focus." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611736984
  • Publisher: Center Point
  • Publication date: 4/28/2013
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.87 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

ELIZABETH BLACK is a professional fund-raiser for a national nonprofit organization. She has published poetry in Kansas Quarterly, Karamu, and Southern Humanities Review. The Drowning House is her first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Quickly go grab a copy of this book. It's hopping off the shelv

    Quickly go grab a copy of this book. It's hopping off the shelves. There were only two copies left at my local book store. Articulate and hypnotic, this is a novel that flows and speeds towards a conclusion and will hold you captive for hours. Elizabeth Black can't possibly be a debut author, I thought! Her book is so good, I was reminded of "Prince of Tides" from the get-go. I absolutely couldn't put it down.

    Told from the perspective of Clare, a young artistic photographer who has just experienced the death of her only child and who returns to her childhood home, it is a break-neck suspense novel and Southern Gothic. It takes place around Galveston Island with its own set of mysteries and island lore, town folk isms and traditions that kept me on the edge of my seat.

    Ms Black has a distinct voice that is seductive. She is a writer of the old school in that she knows how to tell a tale about the South with its idiosyncrasies and love of the strange and absurd, characters in particular, families that are eccentric and enduring. I could read her work all night long.

    Let me give you an example:

    "...Every instant of every day, life is streaming past, all experience--every action, word, or thought, every particle of intention--rushing toward some moment you can't foresee that is anything but safe. Toward, perhaps, one ordinary afternoon."

    and

    "...marriage is generally unfathomable..." She had no understanding even of her own.


    I resonated with this author from the moment I picked up her book. She was writing my story; in my head, speaking my thoughts. If there's one book you should read this year it's this one. I have a feeling it's going to be one of my favorites.

    5 shining stars for a debut author Deborah/TheBookishDame

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Camt wait to read more by this author

    I loved this book and immediately looked to see if there were others by this author when I finished it. I was disapointed to find that there are no more at this time. The ending left me a little disapointed but I still loved it in general.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Author: Elizabeth Black Published By: Nan A. Talese Age Recomme

    Author: Elizabeth Black
    Published By: Nan A. Talese
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Book Blog For: GMTA
    Rating: 4
    Review:

    "The Drowning House" by Elizabeth Black was indeed a novel that will take you into a Gothic mystery, thriller, and suspenseful read all rolled up into one. This novel definitely kept me turning the pages to see where the author was taking me on this ride. The setting is from Galveston, Texas where we find Clare has come home to do some work as a archival photographer where she has been recruited to put together a show about Galveston... showing old photos from the families and library. However, Clare seems to be somewhat interested in 'Stella Tale.' Now what is that all about? We find that she is very unhappy due to the fact of her marriage has fallen apart and more so...the terrible accident that took her daughter's life. Now that Clare is back in Galveston she finds that there is not much change in her relationship with her mother and sister....you taking about a dysfunctional family! Clare seems to find this "a place filled with corrosive relationships and family secrets" dealing with the Carraday and Porterfield families. Now what is this all about? Will Clare find any peace here? I found some of the characters were not very likable and I will only say you will have to pick up "The Drowning House" to see who they may be, however I still enjoyed the read.

    Ms. Black does a wonderful job in the excellent descriptions that are given on the Galveston area...making you feel as you are there, especially if you have been there you will be able to identify it. Also, the history of Galveston was simply well written. From the read I could see that really Clare is drowning from her memories of Galveston, along with a bad marriage, the death of her child along with a few other things... Now, with all that being said you will have to pick up the this good read and if you are like me ... you may get a suprise ending. So, would I recommend "The Drowning House" to you? YES!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Good read. Hard to put down. Gave thoughts of ones own life experiences.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Surprisingly good

    When i read the preview i expected more of a "chick book" which is not realy my thing. Good story interspersed with local interest.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Excellent first novel by a promising author

    After suffering a devastating loss, Clare Porterfield returns to Galveston Island where she grew up. The author's evocative prose and knowledge of the island's history sets a moody backdrop for the unfolding of family secrets and the resolution of mysteries that will keep the reader engaged to the end. Book clubs will find many points for discussion in this finely written first effort by a keenly observant new author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2014

    Appealed to my OCD

    Sentence structure is great. Story line...eh, not so much...the twists and turns are pretty obvious...there was missing closure on a couple characters...

    If you always side with professional critics, you'll love it...if you can think for yourself, you may wanna skip this one.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Probably would have loved it

    I probably would have loved this book because Elizabeth Black is terrific; however, Barnes and Noble sent me the wrong book and seem unable to send me the right one.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Hi

    Hi Hunter it is me Lexi.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2013

    Hunter

    Could you stop that? You are kind of RPing me in a way.

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2013

      

      

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 21, 2013

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    Posted February 2, 2013

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    Posted November 25, 2013

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    Posted January 30, 2013

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    Posted February 6, 2013

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    Posted December 22, 2013

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    Posted October 2, 2013

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    Posted December 24, 2013

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews

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