As I spend a lot of time searching for books to feed my reading addiction, I am always tickled by interesting titles. I reached out to Two Dollar Radio for an arc of The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish by Katya Apenik but not just for the title alone, though what a title! The synopsis is as follows, as can be found here, at their website: https://twodollarradio.com/products/deeper-the-water
It’s 16-year-old Edie who finds their mother Marianne dangling in the living room from an old jump rope, puddle of urine on the floor, barely alive. Upstairs, 14-year-old Mae had fallen into one of her trances, often a result of feeling too closely attuned to her mother’s dark moods. After Marianne is unwillingly admitted to a mental hospital, Edie and Mae are forced to move from their childhood home in Louisiana to New York to live with their estranged father, Dennis, a former civil rights activist and literary figure on the other side of success.
The girls, grieving and homesick, are at first wary of their father’s affection, but soon Mae and Edie’s close relationship begins to fall apart—Edie remains fiercely loyal to Marianne, convinced that Dennis is responsible for her mother’s downfall, while Mae, suffocated by her striking resemblances to her mother, feels pulled toward their father. The girls move in increasingly opposing and destructive directions as they struggle to cope with outsized pain, and as the history of Dennis and Marianne’s romantic past clicks into focus, the family fractures further.
Moving through a selection of first-person accounts and written with a sinister sense of humor, The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish powerfully captures the quiet torment of two sisters craving the attention of a parent they can’t, and shouldn’t, have to themselves. In this captivating debut, Katya Apekina disquietingly crooks the lines between fact and fantasy, between escape and freedom, and between love and obsession.
I’ve already devoured the copy I was sent and in a few weeks intend to share my review, it won’t be available until September 18, 2018 but it’s one to add to your TBR list. Kata Apekina is a fantastic writer, one I look forward to reading more of.
Imagine my surprise that included in the package was a copy of two other books I’ve got on my reading list. The Blurry Years by Eleanor Kriseman and The Underneath by Melanie Finn. Finn’s review I will share this week, as it’s available now. The Blurry Years I am digging into tonight. More on that title below shared from their website, found here: https://twodollarradio.com/products/blurry-years
The Blurry Years is a powerful and unorthodox coming-of-age story from an assured new literary voice, featuring a stirringly twisted mother-daughter relationship, set against the sleazy, vividly-drawn backdrop of late-seventies and early-eighties Florida.
Callie—who ages from six to eighteen over the course of the book—leads a scattered childhood, moving from cars to strangers’ houses to the sand-dusted apartments of the tourist towns that litter the Florida coastline.
Callie’s is a story about what it’s like to grow up too fast and absorb too much, to watch adults behaving badly; what it’s like to be simultaneously in thrall to and terrified of the mother who is the only family you’ve ever known, who moves you from town to town to leave her own mistakes behind.
With precision and poetry, Kriseman’s moving tale of a young girl struggling to find her way in the world is potent, and, ultimately, triumphant.
Naturally, I am drawn to coming of age stories of struggle and triumphant, that Callie stays in Florida tourist towns makes it that much more appealing having grown up there. The Blurry Years will be out July 10, 2018.
The Underneath is available now. From two dollar radio https://twodollarradio.com/products/underneath
With the assurance and grace of her acclaimed novel The Gloaming—which earned her comparisons to Patricia Highsmith—Melanie Finn returns with a precisely layered and tense new literary thriller.
The Underneath follows Kay Ward, a former journalist struggling with the constraints of motherhood. Along with her husband and two children, she rents a quaint Vermont farmhouse for the summer. The idea is to disconnect from their work-based lifestyle—that had her doggedly pursuing a genocidal leader of child soldiers known as General Christmas, even through Kay’s pregnancy and the birth of their second child—in an effort to repair their shaky marriage.
It isn’t long before Kay’s husband is called away and she discovers a mysterious crawlspace in the rental with unsettling writing etched into the wall. Alongside some of the house’s other curiosities and local sleuthing, Kay is led to believe that something terrible may have happened to the home’s owners.
Kay’s investigation leads her to a local logger, Ben Comeau, a man beset with his own complicated and violent past. A product of the foster system and life-long resident of the Northeast Kingdom, Ben struggles to overcome his situation, and to help an abused child whose addict mother is too incapacitated to care about the boy’s plight.
The Underneath is an intelligent and considerate exploration of violence—both personal and social—and whether violence may ever be justified.
I finished this novel last night, I will be sharing my review soon, available now!
Watch this space for reviews of all three novels.