This is the third book by Carol Goodman that I've read... and I'm not really sure how many others there are. So far all three books have in some way incorporated the elements of a struggling writer trying to solve the mysteries that haunt her or her family's past. In this case, The Seduction Of Water, tells the tale of a struggling writer/professor who is drawn to her childhood home to unravel the mysteries of her murdered mother's (who also happened to be a writer) past and her death. The journey to find these answers is both suspenseful and thrilling, not to mention twist filled. Along the way, she finds love with an unlikely (and some would say ill-advised) person.
The themes of this book include writing, teaching, a daughter's search for the mother she never really knew, and the idea that stories and knowledge are passed down through the generations from a mother to her daughter and how these stories are often interlaced with elements of our own stories as well. This book was especially meaningful to me because the fairy tale genre, specifically the Irish tale of the Selkie, both is heavily interwoven and heavily influences the story.
Now I must write on the romance element that is often found in Goodman's books. I'm never one for romance--I hate "Harlequin romances" with a passion, mostly because they are sappy, cliched, predictable, and poorly written--unless (and only unless) it is done well in a novel's story. When I say "done well," I mean subtley. Although Goodman's books always include the main character finding love, the main point of the story is always the main character's inner struggle to make peace and find resolution with the conflicts that litter her past. The main point is never for the main character to find love.
Goodman's novels are always well-written and a satisfying read. I am looking forward to reading the next one I have on reserve, called The Drowning Tree. Well, I'll read it if it ever comes in on reserve. So keep your fingers crossed.
You can request The Seduction Of Water from Lebanon Community Library or Palmyra Public Library to read. I hope you do because you won't regret it.
--Reviewed by Ms. Angie