The Weight of Water

The Weight of Water Journeying to Smuttynose Island off the coast of New Hampshire to shoot a photo essay about a century old double murder a photographer becomes absorbed by the crime and increasingly obsessed with j

  • Title: The Weight of Water
  • Author: Anita Shreve
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Journeying to Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, to shoot a photo essay about a century old double murder, a photographer becomes absorbed by the crime and increasingly obsessed with jealousy over the idea that her husband is having an affair.

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      Posted by:Anita Shreve
      Published :2019-04-11T05:26:35+00:00

    250 Comment

    • Angie says:

      Oy. Where to begin? I realized I was skimming pages, something I only do when I'm really bored with a story, so I checked what page I was on. 46. Forty-six! How is it possible that it moves soooo slow that forty-six pages felt like a hundred? Know what I don't need? - Adjectives in every single sentence. - The same island described a million times. - The regular reminder in every chapter that the husband is a poet and (surprise!) liked to drink. - Reminders every two pages that she's jealous. Ov [...]

    • David Abrams says:

      Anita Shreve (author of the much-touted "The Pilot’s Wife") has done the near-impossible in "The Weight of Water." She has written two tragic tales, separated by more than 100 years, and coiled them seamlessly into one compelling narrative. This is one of the most emotional, provocative and exciting novels I’ve read in a long time. For those who dismissed "The Pilot’s Wife" with a shrug, this is THE Shreve novel to search out at the local bookstore. "The Weight of Water" is a much better c [...]

    • Tory says:

      “I learned that night that love is never as ferocious as when you think it is going to leave you. We are not always allowed this knowledge, and so our love sometimes becomes retrospective.”Anita Shreve has such a somber but beautiful voice. Her stories are incredibly emotional. The plot was somewhat scattered and none of the characters were developed enough for me to love them. However, that didn’t take away from this book for me, as it usually would. Some writers, good characters are all [...]

    • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀ says:

      This is a powerful book about jealousy, envy, rage and destructive secrets. I'd seen the movie, but the book is far more powerful and the consequences more devastating. I don't understand why they changed the ending in the film.

    • Gail says:

      Anita Shreve could be described as a guilty pleasureke potato chips. I thought this was one of her better efforts, with interwoven plots, some great characterization, and a very sure hand with the New England background. Even though I saw the present-day plot twist coming from about page 10, the book still held my interestI mentally screamed, "Look out! Disaster ahead!" several times. I enjoyed this book very much, but most of her others, notably "The Pilot's Wife" (gee, how could the reader mis [...]

    • Connie says:

      Shreve is a lyrical storyteller, but this one did not come together for me as much as some. I loved the idea of the old murder mystery, combined with the present daybut felt little attachment to the characters of the present.I will say, I figured out the twist in the past story, but did not see the present day twist comingnd of blindsided me. She paints a beautiful picture of her settings and I was transported to a different and harsh time. A rather sad story overall.

    • Jacquelyn Mitchard says:

      How many times have I read this novel and felt the weight of its somber message and its deep artistry? Six? Seven? And how many times have I visited the place where the ancient events happened, on a tiny, forbidding island off the coast of New Hampshire?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ugh. This book intertwines two stories. One is the murder of two women and happens in a previous century. The other is about a photographer sent to where the women were killed to take pictures for a magazine assignment. The older story works well and I even liked the weird way the author intertwines the two stories where one flows into the next with only a paragraph break. The problem is that the more contemporary story falls completely apart at the end. There's a build up full of the photograph [...]

    • Sherry says:

      22. "On a small island off the New Hampshire coast in 1873, two women were brutally murdered by an unknown assailant. A third woman survived the attack, hiding in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, a photographer, Jean, comes to the island to shoot a photo-essay about the legendary crime. Immersing herself in accounts of the lives of the fishermen's wives who were its victims, she becomes obsessed with the barrenness of these women's days: the ardor-killing labor, the long stretch [...]

    • Asghar Abbas says:

      A true watery dirge. Harrowing and ultimately haunting.

    • Molly says:

      I have always regarded Shreve as a "borderline junk novel" writer. Her storylines are engaging, always containing an element of juicy scandal, but her writing style is not accomplished. There are some authors whose prose alone can make you pause in astonishment. Shreve is not one of those writers. In this novel, however, her sparse narrative blends seemlessly with the world that it describes. The novel takes place on and around the island of Smuttynose, off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire [...]

    • Barbara Poore says:

      My friend lent this to me while traveling in Spain since my other books were stolen. I doubt that I would have picked it up on my own. The double story of a woman who travels to an island off Portsmouth NH (Smuttynose--there is a present day brewery of that name in Portsmouth--who knew?) to research the 19c murder of two women on the island, interspersed with the story of the murders by one of the survivors. The present day story seems poorly grounded.what magazine would pay a photographer to do [...]

    • Cheri says:

      This book may be best summed up as a summer read, chick lit guiltily knotted into historical fiction. Anita Shreve binds together the gristly 19th c. murders at Smuttynose, a small island off the coast of New Hampshire, with the slow keening of a contemporary marriage. As a child I grew up sailing and anchoring off the Isles of Shoals, listening to tales of the pirate Bluebeard, treasure and murder; swimming in the deep black waters; and exploring Smuttynose and the Haley house (of which I'm a d [...]

    • Carla says:

      Maybe it is just me but I had a difficult time with this book on an ethical basis. Two stories within a story. One in current time the other based on an actual event that occurred in 1873 on Smuttynose Island. Shreve offers the reader her own alternate theory of what happened in 1873 through one of her fictional characters removing a ficitional diary of the sole survivor (real person)from the archive of a library. We, the reader, learn the truth about the murders through this discovered diary. M [...]

    • Mary says:

      Love Anita Shreve.Read this for my circle group, luckily it was one of hers I hadn't read.I loved the way the modern and real life events of 1873 are interwoven.It's a chilling novel but I was soon engrossed.The descriptions of the harsh conditions and climate left you feeling chilled!Beautifully written and very compelling.Had me up late last night to finish!

    • AngryGreyCat says:

      The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve was a library book sale find for me. The story surrounds a journalist/photographer, who is on a small boat, with her husband, young child, brother-in-law and his girlfriend. The trip is to visit an island off the coast of Maine where a horrible domestic crime had occurred years before, get some pictures and do some research. It sounds simple enough.As Jean, the journalist’s, research into the ill-fated family are appearing in her own family, trapped as they [...]

    • Craig Dube says:

      A book selection from our Book Club group (and one that has long been recommended by my wife), I found that I was pleasantly surprised with this book and really enjoyed it. The backdrop for this story is a series of murders that took place on Smuttynose Island back in a 1873. Two Norwegian women were brutally murdered while a third woman escaped by spending a frozen March night in a nearby sea cave. Living near Portsmouth NH, this is one of the more notorious murders and one that carries some co [...]

    • Kirsty Darbyshire says:

      After reading the hefty and only half good Fortune's Rocks I wanted to read some more of Shreve so I picked the slimmest volume in the bookshop hoping that she could write more consistently compellingly in a shorter work. And I got what I wanted - this book would have been unputdownable if I hadn't have had so much to do. I woke up before my alarm this morning and before I got a chance to decide whether I really ought to try and get a little more sleep my head had decided I needed to finish this [...]

    • Beth says:

      In The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve tells a story of pain, jealousy, and passion. Her characters and their closest relationships--with siblings, with partners--are trapped in isolated and claustrophobic spaces. Shreve tells the story of the murders of two Norwegian immigrant women on Smuttynose Island off the coast of New Hampshire in the late 19th century. She explores the 19th Century events in the context of a contemporary photographer's trip to the island to capture the location for a magaz [...]

    • Lorrie says:

      Oh, man, I'm torn, twisted, seasick, I think, after finishing this book. Two different stories were going on and Shreves had me going back and forth and back and forth till at the end my dinner was coming back up in my throat. Even though I picked this book up and read about 15 pages a couple weeks ago, I finally then read the entire book in one day. I could not put it down! It was totally absorbing and slightly sickening but very good! I want to give it 5 stars but can only give it 4 since it m [...]

    • Antof9 says:

      It's very rare that a book -- especially a standard-issue novel -- sends me to the dictionary. This one did not once, but twice, and early in the book. Although I've heard both words many times, and knew in general what they meant, I felt compelled to look up their real meanings, given the sentences they fell in. The sentences, with the words in italics below:"The island is not barren, but it is sere and bleak.""The Isles of Shoals, an archipelago, lie in the Atlantic, ten miles southeast off th [...]

    • Jeanette Grant-Thomson says:

      Make it three and a half stars. I consider this one of Shreve's better books although I find the subjects off-putting.Jean, a photo-journalist, travels with her family to investigate the rumours that persist over the murders more than a century ago on the island of Smuttynose in the Isles of Shoals. Collecting material from a library, she finds the translated memoirs of Maren Honvet, the woman who escaped after the murders of her sister and sister-in-law.Two stories are told, interwoven often wi [...]

    • Michelle Powers says:

      One of those novels that is 2 stories in one. A contemporary story of a woman, her husband and daughter, sailing with his brother and the brother's girlfriend off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine so she can photograph the scene of a murder that took place 150 years earlier. The tension of the people on the boat is revealed right away. And then through trial transcripts and a memoir that has never been found before, the story of Norwegian immigrants who settled on this islands off the coast. [...]

    • Sharon says:

      This novel is really two stories in one. First there is the story of Norwegian immigrants coming to America, and secondly we have the contemporary story of a photographer going to the island where the immigrants lived to photograph and research a 100 year old murder. A murder of two women took place over 100 years ago on the island of Smutty Nose in the Isles of Shoals. Maren Hanvent moves to this very remote, sparse island with her fisherman husband. They are followed by her sister and brother [...]

    • Bookfanatic says:

      This novel and Shreve's other book, "The Last Time They Met" are intertwined. The hero and his spouse appear in both novels. If it were me, I'd read "The Weight of Water" first. It explains the shocking ending of "The Last Time They Met." You don't have to read "The Last Time They Met" to realize the full impact of this story. Like so many of Anita Shreve's works, this one is very emotional. She has a way of ending a book in such a way you're left thinking about it days later. This isn't light s [...]

    • Silvana (Por detrás das Palavras) says:

      Este foi mais um livro que li no âmbito do projeto conjunto que tenho com a Denise do blog Quando se abre um livro. Um dos motivos pelos quais a Denise me enviou este livro era possibilitar-me fazer "as pazes" com esta autora. E, em parte, conseguiu! Consegui gostar mais deste livro que que aquele que li anteriormente.A ilha dos desencontros apresenta-nos duas histórias em dois momentos temporais distintos. Um no passado e outro no presente. No início, a forma que a autora escolheu para integ [...]

    • Nadine Doolittle says:

      I was surprised when I finished this book to discover I kind of liked it when there are so many reasons not to. 1)The long and largely irrelevant passages about Maren's life in Norway. 2) The unexplained hostility between the two sisters (Maren and Karen--yikes--imagination where art thou?)3)The past story of the murders and the present tale of jealousy went off the rails at the critical moment. Frankly, the whole narrative from the past didn't hang together very well.4)The cliched moody drunk p [...]

    • Bridget says:

      I wish they had 1/2 stars because if they did, I would give this one a 2 1/2; they don't so I bumped it to a three simply because the story was set around the Isle of Shoals which is a near and dear to me because of my childhood and looking out at the Shoals with my Gram. I didn't realize all of the history to the Shoals and that is what I enjoyed the most, however, I didn't enjoy the fact that Anita Shreve took a real murder and put her own twist to it and "who did it" that was completely contr [...]

    • Yvonne says:

      This is a story within a story. Firstly there is the murders that occurred in 1873. Then there is the story of the photographer who was given an assignment to photo-journalist to investigate the murders more than one hundred years later.The murders of two women occurred on the bleak and remote island of Smuttynose, just off the New Hampshire coast, they are Norwegian woman who have emigrated. Maren and John left Norway first to start their new life, to then be followed by Maren's sister Karen. T [...]

    • Heidi says:

      The pacing of the two stories creates such tension--as tight as an overstrung musical string. That is both the book's strength and weakness. The weakness being you can see the ending coming at you, and yet you just can't get off those train tracks. It may have been made even moodier by the sense of deja vu I experienced as I must have seen some part of the movie years ago. That feeling always disorients this reader. Lastly, it was a relief to be done by the end -- the sadness is palpable. No dou [...]

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