Title: The Waters & The Wild
Author: DeSales Harrison
Publish Date: April 3, 2018 by Random House
# of Pages: 320
Buy it*: Amazon
(From Goodreads) A debut novel about a psychoanalyst haunted by a past crime and a past lover–a story that examines what it means to love, to betray, and to forgive.
Daniel Abend is a psychoanalyst and single parent living in New York City, with a successful practice and a comfortable life: an apartment on the Upper West Side, a beautiful teenage daughter, and an untroubled daily routine. When one of his young patients commits suicide, it is a tragedy, but one easily explained by her depression and drug addiction.
But shortly after, Daniel receives an ominous note that makes him question the patient’s death. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears. A series of letters from an unknown sender ensnares Daniel in an increasingly desperate search for his daughter and for the truth–a search that stretches back decades, to when he was a young man living in Paris, falling in love with a woman who would upend his life. With lyrical prose and masterful plotting, The Waters & The Wild is a sophisticated and surprising literary mystery about passion, betrayal, and redemption.
I read The Waters & The Wild over the course of 7 days. It was slow-going for me, since this book was really hard to get into.
Rating (1-5, 5 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 3
Pace – 1
Plot Development – 2
Ending – 3
Characters – 2
Enjoyability – 1
Ease of Reading – 2
Overall Rating – ⭐⭐
The Waters & The Wild by DeSales Harrison is the story of a psychoanalyst with a past that comes back to haunt him.
Goodness, this book was a chore to get through! While I appreciated the writing style—simple, yet poetic—the story itself was very dull. I had a hard time getting through the book, and while I’m not one to give up on a book, I nearly gave up on this one. I don’t mind a book with a good slow burn, but there was nothing good about this burn.
The pace was slow—painfully slow. Not much seemed to happen the entire book, and some of the stuff that did happen, didn’t seem relevant once the book was finished. I will say that the last quarter of the book did pick up quite a bit pace-wise, but it wasn’t enough to redeem the rest of the book.
The story concept, while interesting, was poorly executed. Again, not much happened the entire book, and so much happened that didn’t really matter. It made for a meandering story that seemed somewhat pointless.
The ending was just okay. I did find Clementine’s origin story interesting—probably the most interesting thing that happened in the book—but otherwise the ending was one that begged for a quick skim.
The characters were average, though not that well defined. Miriam was probably the most well-developed of the characters in terms of personality. Of all the characters, she was the most fascinating. Her connection with the nuns and the odd life she led was interesting to read about. The other characters were fairly cookie-cutter, if not somewhat vague.
I’m disappointed, because this book had a lot of potential! Overall, this isn’t a book I can recommend to others. The cover is gorgeous, but the book didn’t live up to the gorgeous cover.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What was your last 1 or 2-star read? Do you plan on reading The Waters & The Wild?
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