Tag Archives: Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club

Review: Something in the Water

Something in the Water

Something in the Water
By Catherine Steadman
Ballantine Books, 9781524797676, April 2019, 384pp.

The Short of It:

When I picked this one up I was thinking it would be along the lines of Jaws or The Abyss.  Not a spoiler but ocean life is not a big player here.

The Rest of It:

Erin makes documentaries for a living. Mark is an investment banker and not a very good one as he’s just been fired. Erin and Mark are engaged, in love and completely stressed out because if Mark doesn’t find a job soon, they’ll lose their home.

To add insult to injury, the big, beautiful wedding they had planned had to be cancelled due to cost. They opt for a smaller celebration and cut their glorious three weeks in Bora Bora to a mere two but they still manage to get themselves into trouble when a scuba diving trip goes wrong.

These two. What a pair! You learn very early on that Erin and Mark don’t seem to posses the highest morals. They are manipulative and don’t have a problem justifying their bad decisions. When that scuba diving trip uncovers the answer to their all their troubles, they don’t hesitate at all before diving head first into a pile of trouble.

As Erin and Mark continue to justify their actions, things begin to crumble around them and they find themselves trying to cover up their tracks. When they begin to question one another, then it gets particularly good.

Something in the Water was quite readable. The tension ran high throughout most of the book and I kept flipping those pages to see how the story would end. I didn’t love the characters and some of the story lines were too convenient and not realistic at all so in the end I didn’t love it but reading it was a solid way to spend the afternoon.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age
By Kiley Reid
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525541905, December 2019, 320pp.

The Short of It:

A slow build but once I got into it it was like a time bomb ready to go off.

The Rest of It:

For once, I read a buzzy book when everyone else was reading it too. Such a Fun Age is making the rounds and getting a lot of praise. It was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club and although I’ve not read all of her selections, the ones I have read have been really good. This was no exception.

Emira is at a club celebrating with her friends when her boss calls her to ask if she can possibly watch her daughter due to an emergency. One, it’s late. Two, she’s dressed for the club. Three, she’s been drinking. Although she explains this to her boss, the desperation on the other line wins out.

Minutes later, Emira finds herself with three-year-old Briar in an upscale supermarket checking out the nuts, dancing in the aisle, doing whatever it takes to keep the kid occupied while her mother, Alix, tends to her emergency. Just minutes into their visit, they begin to draw the attention of other shoppers. Emira, a young black woman, and Briar, a young white child, wandering the aisles so late at night seems out of place. So much so, that a security guard begins to question her. Emira explains that she is Briar’s babysitter, which is the truth but she knows how it looks. Things escalate. That is where the story begins.

This is one of those slow-build books. Conflict is everywhere but you know something big is coming and as the story plays out, the one word that comes to mind is EXPLOSIVE. This is a book about race but also fetishsizing race, which I thought was interesting.

Two things stood out for me. One, the story is a little gritty. Not overworked or polished which I liked very much. The author did a good job of portraying each character’s POV. None of these characters are perfect and you won’t find yourself siding with any of them. They all play a role in how the rabbit falls down the hole.  Two, the portrayal of Briar, the young child seemed a little off. She’s critical to the story but her observations were often not believable to me and they took me out of the narrative at times.

However, there is a lot to think about here and you will find yourself eagerly flipping those pages towards the end because it’s like a train wreck and you can’t possibly look away. I wouldn’t say it was a perfect story but I don’t think it was meant to be.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.