The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels is a compelling novel with vivid characters and a storyline that kept me wanting to read more.
Since I love writing, the main character being a novelist intrigued me. Kendra moves into her grandfather’s old cabin to write her second book and hopes it will be as successful as her first.
But a letter from a Disappointed Reader threatens her confidence, especially since her first book was based on her past. She decides to confront Tyler, her real-life inspired antagonist from the first book.
Her childhood best friend Cami, who is Tyler’s sister, disappeared after they had a falling out. So while Kendra is making sense of her past, trying to meet her next deadline, she is also hoping to find out where Cami is.
Bartel writes this book from Kendra’s point of view, written as a letter to Cami. I loved this format and felt it moved the storyline in a natural way as Kendra shares her thoughts and perceptions of events that transpired at Hidden Lake.
The lake setting with its sticky heat and pestering mosquitos made me feel like I was there.
Bartel’s writing is descriptive and engaging.
“For a moment the only sound was the swoosh and trickle of the oars dipping in and out of the water, that lovely liquid melody of all my best and worst memories.”
There were some unexpected twists which had me turning the pages even faster by the middle with tears in my eyes.
I felt for Kendra as she tried to handle her mixed emotions and the confusing cycle of abuse she found herself trapped in as a child.
The themes of healing, forgiveness, learning to love and trust again, and struggling to find the truth in past memories, showed through each layered character.
I usually review nonfiction but recently decided to add more fiction to my repertoire. I highly recommend this book.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.