Every story is nothing but a compilation of different perspectives. So which one to trust to finally find the truth? This kind of novel writing is gaining its way in the modern fiction when a single narrator is out of scene and main characters are the ones to bring puzzle pieces into a common picture. If you cannot recall such a story, I‘ll give you a hint – The Girl On The Train. Paula Hawkins succeeded in capturing millions of readers around the globe with her debut novel. But her second newborn Into The Water expands the boundaries of personalized story-telling even further.
Into The Water is yet another thriller told by different characters both already dead and alive. This time these are not just three girls contemplating on their past and present but almost a dozen people, men and women, all of them plotting their own version of truth. However, there‘s a feeling constantly lingering in the air that the most important part is inevitably kept to themselves.
Jules, a sister of Nel, is forced to come back to her native town, which she fled once, on a very tragic occasion: Nel is dead and Jules has to look after her teenage daughter. Dead by drowning in a place called the Drowning Pool. Was it a suicide, as even the police tends to conclude? But Nel was the one who gathered the history on the Drowning Pool and was never afraid of its waters. Moreover, Nel wasn‘t the first to drown there.
A nice girl, the best friend of Nel‘s daughter has drowned there not long before as well as the wife of the former police chief and a couple of ladies from a far more darker century, one of them just being a girl accused of a witchcraft. Which of these deaths were suicides and which – ruthlessly committed murders?
The novel quickly turns into a page turner but despite a totally new set of characters there‘s a scent of repetition or a feeling of being in a stuffy room with an urgent need of a gust of fresh air. Paula Hawkins definitely has got a skill and her story-telling by different characters reminds of an estuary with all narrow tributaries bringing their own waters into it. Still the final result is somehow disappointing. Maybe it‘s because you sense the real murderer too early in the story or perhaps it‘s the plot itself, which is the weakest part of the whole business.
You can‘t step into the same river twice, and that‘s obvious. Therefore the effect The Girl On The Train made upon the audience won‘t be hit with a power of a lightning for the second time but be sure to secure a couple of free undisturbed hours on the beach.