Under the Water by Paul Pen

ebook, 427 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by AmazonCrossing
About the Book:
From the outside, Frank and Grace seem to have the perfect family. He's a loving husband, she's a devoted wife, and together they have two happy children. But appearances can be deceiving. A strange series of misfortunes has left them reeling: an unexplained break-in, a catastrophic handgun accident, and a bizarre poisoning that's left Grace feeling especially unnerved. Packing up their RV for a move across the country, they're ready for a fresh start, expecting to leave all their problems safely behind. Then one night on the road to their new home, the figure of a young woman emerges from the darkness, causing them to swerve off the road. The injured stranger says her name is Mara. Miles from help, Frank does what any decent man would do. He invites Mara to stay. But Mara is hiding a secret. And she is not the only one. Was it all just another inexplicable accident? Or has Frank opened the door to an escalating family nightmare designed to tear his perfect world apart?

The good thing about problems is, there’s always a solution.
If there isn’t one, it’s called death.

Secrets, secrets, lies, lies. This family’s dramatic story is well told with Paul Pen's beautiful writing, which really helps the reader to understand what each character is feeling and experiencing. The character development was superb. It was an emotional read, inducing contrary pangs of empathy and apathy for the characters, specifically Frank. What he appeared to be—a cold and heartless cad—masked what he truly was: a very flawed man. Grace and Mara were admirable women.

Under the Water is pretty remarkable. I can not only say that I liked it, but I can also say it evoked emotions in me. I felt sad for Grace and Mara, and for the things they went through and Frank was a real son of a bitch. I wish that I could say that whole scenario was unrealistic, but it's not. It's a reality that many women face on a daily basis.

I did think the book started out kind of slow, but the more I read the more I was invested in the characters and wanting to know what happened. I think part of this was in regards to the relationship between Frank and Grace. It just rubbed me the wrong way at the beginning of the story. I thought it was well-written and an evocative story that left its imprint. An easy read that all comes together in the end with a few surprises along the way.

Thank you NetGalley, Paul Pen and AmazonCrossing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.

#UnderTheWater #NetGalley


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