Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Why of Things: a novel 305 pages



Two unrelated tragedies form the story line of this book.  A family arrives at their summer home in Cape Ann from their home in Maryland only to discover that a vehicle has entered the quarry, now a swimming hole, on their property and that the driver has drowned.  In addition, part of the work they have to do as a family this summer is to come to terms with the death of the oldest of the three daughters nine months previously.  The cause of this death is not revealed until about one third of the way through the book, so I won't spoil that.

The family, Josie and Anders, and their surviving daughters, Eve and Eloise, are very careful and cautious with each other in conversation and in what demands are made to keep the family normalcy going.  When it seems the only possible reaction of one of the parents at any given time might be to collapse in misery and give in to sobbing for the loss of Sophie, the eldest daughter, care is taken to return to routine and custom and keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Not just for the sake of the two remaining sisters, but the the sake of all four family members.

A parallel story line occurs as Eve tries to find more meaning to the drowning victim's death and starts an "investigation" based on her suspicion that foul play was involved.   

I will say that the idea of swimming in an old water filled quarry is not something I would ever do, so to enjoy a book that touts this as an enjoyable activity says something about how well I liked the writing.

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