Thursday, August 14, 2014

BLOG TOUR: This is the Water by Yannick Murphy

Title: This is the Water
Author: Yannick Murphy
Genre: Adult Contemp/Mystery
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: JUly 29/2014
Adquired: Print ARC provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

From Yannick Murphy, award-winning author of The Call, comes a fast-paced story of murder, adultery, parenthood, and romance, involving a girls' swim team, their morally flawed parents, and a killer who swims in their midst.

In a quiet New England community members of the swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn't kissed her in ages; and why she can't get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago. But Annie's world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he's married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie's greying hair and crow's feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.

But when a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop-the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago-the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.

With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost.


Second-person perspective, you finicky beast. You creator of distinct FRUSTRATION. I hate you, but in the case of This is the Water, I grew to tolerate you..and eventually, found you rather attractive. It's a talented author that's needed to pull off this particular writing style, and though there were moments I wanted to rip this book in half, it was more alike despising the THOUGHT of doing ab-crunches, and then feeling the satisfying burn afterwards. This is the Water was a dangerous thrill. It was a contained chaos that took no shame in it's ability to hook you, to create an addiction to it's slowly seeping poison.

First and foremost, this piece of advice: STICK through the first 50 pages of this book. You will toil, and slog, and clench your fists with the effort it surely took ME to get use to "This is you sitting in the parking lot with a slight breeze blowing by..," and "This is Paul entering his driveway..," or "This is you thinking how sometimes you feel..."

AHHH! I wanted it to stop, and I wanted TO stop. Reading, that is. But I assure you, continuing on was definitely the smarter move. What you will find in This is the Water is a story not very different from those penned by prominent authors like Wally Lamb, or Tom Perrotta. In fact, this book reminded me very much of Perrotta's Little Children, in the sense that the characters felt extremely realistic, and believable, and satisfyingly relatable. It was the idea of small town existence, laced with enough secrets, lies, desire, deceit and MURDER, to have you wondering when you'll ever be able to put the book down. I want to refrain from pointing out the small confusions, the way I sometimes wondered if the focus had switched from Annie's perspective, only to learn that it had, and was already back to her-it was straightforward enough, new paragraphs for new views are always a winner-it was just in these moments that the second-person perspective irritatingly found it's way under my skin. 

Yes, stick through the first third of this book because there is something unavoidable in Murphy's writing. It is the portrayal of human beings, of the sick and demented, of the lustful and lonely, of the determined and unsure, that will have you constantly comparing her characters to people in your life, to yourself. Add to it the Mystery/Thriller element, the one where you don't know who the killer is until the very end (and I didn't, never saw it coming), and you're in a winning environment of the reading sort. Reading, and finishing, This is the Water felt like a new reading accomplishment. The plot line wasn't marginally different from a lot of others out there in it's genre, but the writing style definitely was. Yannick Murphy has convinced me of the power second-person perspective can hold, especially when done the way she so cleverly did it. 

Recommended for Fans of: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller, Controversial Topics, mental illness in fiction, Little Children by Tom Perrotta, We Are Water by Wally Lamb.

Yannick Murphy is the author of the novels, The Call, Signed, Mata Hari, Here They Come, and The Sea of Trees. Her story collections include Stories in Another Language and In a Bear's Eye. Her children's books include The Cold Water Witch, Baby Polar, and Ahwhoooooooo!. She is the recipient of various awards including a Whiting Writer's Award, a National Endowment for the Arts award, a Chesterfield Screenwriting award and her story In a Bear's Eye was recently published in the 2007 O'Henry Prize Stories.

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Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Harper Collins for sending me a print ARC to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour


  1. You can find some really special books when you stick through the first 50 pages!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. I've read a lot of reviews of this one, and almost all feel like you do about the writing. I guess I'm the exception. I loved it from the beginning!

    1. Yes, I definitely needed some time for it to grow on me. I really did like it by the end though! I'm glad you enjoyed it as well =).


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