Tragedy cleaved Marnie Maitland from all that she loved, from her Lowcountry home, from the ocean, from her family. As children, she and her sister, Diana, nearly died themselves in the sailboat accident that claimed their mother’s life. The darkness that rose between the sisters afterward destroyed their relationship (the reason for this delivered to us in a way that demands the pages continue to be turned). Marnie has spent ten years estranged from her sister, living in the desert.
She’s received a call from her ex-brother-in-law, Quinn, begging for her to return to help the nine-year-old nephew Marnie has never met. Young Gil stopped speaking after he and his mother, Diana, were in a sailing accident. Diana’s mental state is in a rapid downhill slide and Quinn is desperate to help his son.
Now the drama begins. Diana’s tenuous hold on sanity is stretched. Marnie slowly bonds with Gil, drawing even more animosity from the isolated Diana. As old truths emerge and old wounds once again bleed, Marnie finds her way back to a full life. Marnie and Gil find comfort in one another, even as they both try to save Diana from her inner demons.
This beautifully written book moves with the grace of the tides. It draws you in to a world of salt and sand and sea, of emotion and mystery and love. The mysteries are artfully revealed by the slow eroding of old perceptions and the emergence of new enlightenment. In THE MEMORY OF WATER, Karen White has created fabulously imperfect and engaging characters. Marnie, Gil and Quinn are healed in slow and painful steps, steps they’d quite often rather not take. I found Diana to be one of the best characters White has ever created, so broken, so disagreeably flawed, and yet you ache for her.
If you love an emotionally charged, character-driven story, this one is for you.