Recommended by the Reviewers Club

Water, by John Boyne

Cover of Water, by John Boyne.

This is the first in a quartet of interwoven novellas with a theme of the four elements. Though water features in this first story, it is never expanded on – though the metaphor of the cleansing nature of the story is implicit.

The heroine, Vanessa Carlin, has retreated from Dublin to a remote island with only 400 inhabitants off the west coast of Ireland in the aftermath of her husband’s arrest and subsequent conviction for abusing young girls.

How Vanessa comes to terms with the past and finds acceptance and recovery is the focus of the book. The reader is confronted with a series of scenes involving human interaction and the story is neatly dramatized.

John Boyne’s writing is never sentimental and contains much humour, which alleviates the traumatic subject matter of his novels.

4.2/5 Stars