THE DROWNING KIND – BY JENNIFER MCMAHON
Published by Gallery/Scout Press / Available April 2021
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives. (Summary provided by Goodreads listing)
The Good: Jennifer McMahon writes with exciting purpose. There isn’t anything that feels unnecessary or underdeveloped. I was entranced throughout The Drowning Kind, thanks to the haunting and peculiar premise that was equally fascinating. I was invested the characters and their challenge in mourning. I was curious of Sparrows Crest and its secrets. But most of all, I was drawn to the springs, much like the people in this fictional world.
The Bad: I went in this story with somewhat low expectations, expecting to only be moderately pleased. This was due to my mixed experience with The Invited, the only McMahon novel I had ready previously. Perhaps it is for this reason that The Drowning Kind took me by surprise in the way it did. I was looking for downfalls, but didn’t really find anything. As the novel moved along, I found myself more comforted and sure of this experience. No real complaints come to mind, is what I’m getting at.
The Takeaway: Not only did The Drowning Kind exceed my expectations, it kept me hooked from start to finish. Settings can make or break a story for me, but the springs and Sparrows Crest were teeming with too much life and mystery to disappoint. This was an engaging and highly satisfying read!
File Under: Ghosts … Hauntings … Supernatural … Magic … Drama … Suspense/Horror
Also See: The Invited
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