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9780349109114

ISBN: 9780349109114

Paperback

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Prize Winner

The Weight of Water

by Anita Shreve

Category: Fiction / General
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Publication date: 14 May 1998
Number of pages: 256
Prizes: Shortlisted for Orange Prize for Fiction 1998.
Shortlisted for Orange Prize for Fiction 1998.

Description:
On Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, more than a century ago, two Norwegian immigrant women were brutally murdered. A third woman survived by hiding in a cave until dawn. In 1995, Jean, a photographer, is sent on an assignment to shoot a photo essay about the legendary crime. Taking her extended family with her, Jean stays in a sailboat anchored off the coast, and finds herself gradually becoming more and more engrossed in the bay's mysterious and gruesome past. Wandering into a library one day, she unearths letters written by Maren, the sole survivor of the murder spree. Jean's fear of losing all that she cares about is reflected in Maren's poignant tale of love and loss, and her obsession with the ancient story drives her to wild impulsive action -- with unrecoverable consequences.

Review:
Jean has been commissioned to do a photo-journalistic piece about the 1873 murder of two Norwegian women on the lonely and delightfully named Smuttynose Island off the coast of New Hampshire. She takes her family there for a holiday but, in the close confines of the boat, the relationships between the adults become strained and Jean is morbidly drawn to her subject. Shreve's writing is spare but expressive, capturing the emotional numbness surrounding tragedy. (Kirkus UK)

What the papers say:
Compelling and beautifully written ... the strength of the book lies in the exquisite handling of the metaphor of the sea - constant but shifting, all surface but all depth: and in particular the dangerous emotional currents that in both stories collide forcibly to make disaster inevitable Lynne Truss, THE TIMES Enthralling...an object lesson in how to unravel a complicated plot Anita Brookner Rich, sensual prose...subtle and disturbing Rosellen Brown Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, this is a beautifully crafted novel that explores the way in which we tell stories to try and relieve the weight of the past. SUNDAY TIMES

Author's Biography:
Formerly a journalist (Newsweek, US magazine) and non-fiction writer, Anita Shreve's first novel EDEN CLOSE, published in 1990, introduced a distinctively individual voice to literary fiction. She is the author of ten other bestselling novels, all available from Little, Brown and Abacus.

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