One can’t help but feel that Paula Hawkins isn’t much of People person. As a writer she clearly spends a substantial amount of time alone with the torment of characters plots and narratives whirling round her head but when it comes to those characters arriving on paper – they tend to turn up as some of the most disagreeable and unlikeable people we could ever hope not to meet.
Into the water Is a story about people, a small town and how a death of a local mum who was obsessed with ‘the drowning pool’ and the women it had taken over the years. There are unsettling flashbacks to uglier times when women who healed were thought to practice witchcraft and who therefore had to pay the price for their meddling ways.
It adopts some of the ingredients of The Girl on the Train – specifically the alternative perspectives and the idea that our memories of events aren’t always to be depended on.
There are so many different perspectives from varying characters, which at times admittedly is off putting. Hawkins knew she wanted to have a large cast and perhaps her intention was to cause a little chaos in her follow up to her debut best seller. For everyone knows any press is good press and here we are, talking it through; analysing it.
Without the ‘shocking twist’ at the end like we saw in The Girl on the Train or the literary composition of Donna Tart or Elizabeth Gilbert it’s hard to know where Hawkins is heading with this novel.
It is however a good second novel. No patch on The Girl on The Train but then Hawkins is a writer, who is still learning her craft and forging her way in a competitive market. Into the Water is not a sequel, it’s a an entirely different novel and I wouldn’t dare to compare the two.
Her voice and narrative style is starting to form and I’m looking forward to seeing what she offers us next.