Marjorie Celona - How a Woman Becomes a Lake
"This is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
By a frozen lake, ten-year-old Jesse waits for his father. It's New Year's Day, and his dad promised a fresh start. But Jesse messed it all up. And that's when he meets the woman...
In the months ahead, the woman's sudden disappearance sets off a chain of events in Whale Bay, spanning out like fracture lines into the lives of her husband, the detective trying to solve her case, and of Jesse and his family – a young boy cracking like ice under the weight of a terrible secret.
What an absolute joy this book is. A stunning, literary novel told with such warmth and empathy. 'How A Woman Becomes a Lake' is a chilling literary mystery that asks what happens when we are failed by the ones we love.
Through multiple viewpoints, we follow the central characters as they try to deal with the events at Squire Point on New Year's Day. In their different ways, each character is seeking redemption. There's Jesse, damaged by the abuse inflicted on him and hiding a secret so dark it threatens to destroy his life. His mother, Evelina, has never come to terms with the break-up of her abusive marriage and the events that preceded it. And Lewis, the detective leading the investigation, has spent his life trying to atone for his own troubled childhood by caring for others.
'How a Woman Becomes a Lake' is a wonderful meditation on what it means to be human. Through her examination of these imperfect humans, Celona reminds us that we are all, in our own ways, flawed beings.
This is a novel that will stay with you long after you finish reading it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Reviewed by: S.B.