Wednesday 8 November 2023

Review - Water by John Boyne

Water by John Boyne
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Release date: 2 November 2023
Back cover blurb: From million-copy-bestselling author John Boyne comes a masterfully reflective story about one woman coming to terms with the demons of her past and finding a new path forward. The first thing Vanessa Carvin does when she arrives on the island is change her name. To the locals, she is Willow Hale, a solitary outsider escaping Dublin to live a hermetic existence in a small cottage, not a notorious woman on the run from her past. But scandals follow like hunting dogs. And she has some questions of her own to answer. If her ex-husband is really the monster everyone says he is, then how complicit was she in his crimes? Escaping her old life might seem like a good idea but the choices she has made throughout her marriage have consequences. Here, on the island, Vanessa must reflect on what she did - and did not do. Only then can she discover whether she is worthy of finding peace at all. Can you ever truly wash away your past?

Vanessa Carvin moves to a remote island from Ireland's mainland in an attempt to remove herself from a media circus, and the wrath of strangers that she doesn't know, but who believe that she must have been complicit in crimes committed by her husband.

Her own daughter is amongst those who doesn't believe that her Mother knew nothing of the Father's crimes, which breaks Vanessa's heart. But she knows that she herself must learn to move on from the past, before she can expect others to do the same.

Almost immediately once she arrives on the island, Vanessa changes her name to Willow. 

Wanting to appear as someone who is escaping city life, rather than real life. 

She has deliberately chosen the most remote cottage on the island. 

Not wanting to attract attention from the locals.

But of course she does. 

She is an outsider, on a small island with a tight knit community, who have a reputation for running strangers off the island and back to the mainland. 

She is careful who she make acquaintances with, and seeks out those like herself who seem to have something to hide.

For we all have secrets.

Although it wasn't made explicit at the start of the novel, I had an idea of what Brendan Carvin had been accused and convicted of, but to have it confirmed was no less shocking.

Water is the first in a series of four novels by this acclaimed author, and I really look forward to the next! 

Water is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops. 

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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