Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

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My Review:

I read the whole book in two sittings!  Psychological thrillers are supposed to grab you right away, pull you in, create situations where you make assumptions and then force you to second guess yourself…Author Catherine Steadman did just that in her fast moving debut novel Something in the Water.  (FYI she is also an actress from Downton Abbey and she narrated the audio book!)

Mark is an investment banker and Erin is a filmmaker in the midst of making a documentary about people in prison.  (The subjects of money and crime could be foreshadowing!!!) The handsome couple is honeymooning in exotic Bora Bora and they are very much in love.  While on a secluded scuba diving day trip they discover something in the crystal clear blue water.  They make a decision about what to do and so it begins!  That is all I can say!  Around ever corner the newlyweds have to decide how to proceed, and as they dig their grave (figuratively…and maybe even literally!) they battle their moral compass while their loyalty to each other is tested.  Greed, curiosity and BIG secrets make this latest Reese Witherspoon Book Club choice a fun summer read!

Goodreads Summary

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About the Author:

Catherine Steadman is an actress and writer based in North London. She is known for her roles in Downton Abbey and Tutankhamun, starring alongside Sam Neill, as well as shows including Breathless, The Inbetweeners, The Tudors, and Fresh Meat.

In 2017 she will feature in political thriller Fearless and new BBC comedy Bucket. She also has appeared on stage in the West End including Oppenheimer for the RSC, for which she was nominated for a 2016 Laurence Olivier Award.

Something in the Water is her first novel.

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Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio

 

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As stated in Goodreads:

After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.

She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.

Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

 

My Comments:

Ok, still wiping away tears! Thank you Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Before the Rain Falls. Author Camille Di Maio hit another home run with this emotional story of family, love, loss and secrets. Add to your TBR list right away; book will be available May 2, 2017.

In the 1940s Della was charged with murdering her sister and spent many years of her life in jail.  Now an old woman, she returns to her family home in Puerto Pesar, Texas, with no family or friends.  Around the same time, Paloma returns to the Texas home she grew up in to care for her grandma and reconnect with her teenage sister.  In Boston, aggressive journalist Mick, reprimanded for running a story with inaccuracies is sent to Puerto Pesar on a mission for a soft news story about a painting of a girl that appears to be crying.  Each chapter reveals more about Della and Paloma, and we get a glimpse into their families histories, revealing  how their lives are surprisingly intertwined.   Mick is the catalyst to bring Della, the old woman just out of jail who knows about the painting, and Paloma, his new friend together as he learns how asking the right questions and moving at a slower pace can lead to greater results and bring understanding, joy and love.

Through storytelling, author Camille Di Maio brings to light how decisions based on faith can be life changing, offering hope and a reason to live, but also causing one to protect a loved one leading to their own demise.  In contrast, always being pragmatic and factual may push one to achieve their goals to reach financial and career success, but relationships and a personal life may suffer and have an emptiness to it.  Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures.  Loved it!

 

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If you missed Camille Di Maio’s stellar debut novel, The Memory of Us, you can order it here on Amazon.  I loved this one too!  Scroll back to read my book review in an earlier blog post.