Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

A river runs through the town of Beckford and within that river, there’s The Drowning Pool. The pool lives up to its bleak name when a mother and a teenage girl are both found dead within the water’s depths one summer. There’s a large cliff above that leads to the question: Did they jump? Paula Hawkins’ latest release, Into The Water, shares the story of the women who’ve been lost to The Drowning Pool.

When Nel Abbott died, her daughter is left alone in a large creaking house with an estranged aunt who she’s never met. It turns out that Beckford, like many small towns, is filled with underlying connections and affairs. Throughout the book it seemed like half the town was looking for answers as to how these women died while the other half was keeping secrets.

My feelings about Into The Water are mixed. On the one hand, I was fascinated (and horrified) by the idea of The Drowning Pool and the myths that it’s a place where “troublemakers” are “taken care of.” The writing was infectious and I didn’t want to put the book down (similarly to Hawkins’ previous book, The Girl on the Train). On the other hand, the book is told from at least 10 different perspectives and all of the switching back and forth between characters took away from the depth of the story. I was lucky enough to attend an author event with Paula Hawkins a couple weeks ago and these alternating perspectives was an aspect of the book that she experimented with while writing.

Overall, I recommend reading Into The Water, but I also recommend having a pen and paper handy in order to jot down quick notes of each of the characters mentioned.

Standout quotes: 

“Beckford is not a suicide spot. Beckford is a place to get rid of troublesome women.”  

“It must take a strange sense of entitlement, I would have thought, to take someone else’s tragedy like that and write it as though it belonged to you.”

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8 thoughts on “Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

  1. I wasn’t keen on Girl on the Train so wasn’t sure about this but I think the multiple narrators makes it a no for me. I’m not a fan of it when there’s three or four never mind ten. Great review.

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  2. I’ll definitely have to check this book out further. Thanks for introducing me to Into the Water. Great review and awesome pictures.

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

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  3. I recommended the book to my book club. We are meeting tomorrow to discuss it. I found the switching of narrators – in the beginning especially – hard to keep track of. I caught myself several times turning back to see who was narrating… I would prefer to not have multiple narrators. Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to a friend and others. Smiles, Alesia

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    1. I completely agree! I think that the number of narrators and the way the perspective switched between them was tricky to follow. I hope you had a good book club discussion!

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