Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
Image credit: penguin.co.uk
Each chapter is narrated by a different character, so there are several points of view on the same subject. So far I have found a good choice of a read, because we can understand a little of what happened in that city through the eyes of people with very different personalities. It all revolves around the death of Nel Abbot, an attractive woman who was writing a book about women who died drowned in the river.
One problem is that you cannot empathize with anyone. You pass each page wanting to scream at each of the characters. At most you can understand Jules a little, a girl who has a traumatic past and tries to deal with her sister’s death. Other than that … I do not know if that was the author’s goal, but not liking the characters is not comfortable.
The motive for the murders, who killed who, is also obvious from the middle. Those who are accustomed to mystery stories can find out very quickly. Another crucial point: the book rolled too much; it could cut at least 50 pages, no problem. Almost at the end it is that the plot finally begins to unfold and the points unite.
I didn’t like the melodramas of the central character of the story: Lena. She was really upsetting. Early on, on the front page, Paula Hawkins dedicates the book “to all troublemakers.” Many women in the book are troublemakers, especially the protagonists. However, it is an exaggeration. They are not just troublemakers: they are selfish, coarse, boring, and insensitive. What looks like “courage” is actually narcissism. The author even tries to put some traces of feminism and moral lessons in the book, but it does not work. It is very badly put.
The friendship between Lena and Katie is too forced. In fact, interpersonal relationships here do not work at all. It is a disjointed book with a poor history. To be honest, at certain times I found Into the Waters a bit tacky. Some dialogues and reflections of the characters left me with shame.
It seems that what Paula Hawkins conquered with The Girl on the Train, she failed with Into the Water. I'm sad because I really tried to like this book. The ending is not surprising either, it's pretty empty. However, it may work for someone who is a fan of the author or who likes dramatic stories with various "trouble-making" characters.