Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Review ~ The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water by Erin Bartels

When Kendra Brennan moves into her grandfather's old cabin on Hidden Lake, she has a problem and a plan. The problem? An inflammatory letter from A Very Disappointed Reader that's keeping her from writing her next novel as long as its claims go unanswered. The plan? To confront Tyler, her childhood best friend's brother--and the man who inspired the antagonist in her first book--in order to prove to herself that she told the truth as all good novelists should.

What she discovers as she delves into the murky past is not what she expected. Facing Tyler isn't easy, but facing the truth of her failed friendship with his sister, Cami, may be the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

Award-winning novelist Erin Bartels searches the heart with this lyrical exploration of how a friendship dies, how we can face the unforgiveable, and how even those who have been hurt can learn to love with abandon.


My Review 4 STARS

“Did you ever consider that antagonists have stories of their own? Or that in someone else’s story you’re the antagonist?”

This is the first book by this author that I have read. While this book addresses some pretty gritty subject matter, it is written in such a manner that I had a hard time putting it down. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about the story, compelled to read more until I was bleary eyed.

The style the book is written in is quite interesting. I did not find it to be a fast read in spite of the fact I did not want to put it down. It is more slow and steady, taking the reader into past and present, showing the development of friendships, betrayal, abuse, and so much more.

The author did a good job of heightening the tension in the story between Kendra and Tyler, and Kendra and Andreas. There are a couple of extremely well-done twists too! I cannot say that I have ever read a book quite like this one. I was impressed with the writing and fully engaged with the storyline and characters from beginning to end.

If you are looking for an engrossing read that is not your typical cookie cutter story, this is the book. It is not wrapped up in a neat little bow but then most times life is not that way either. I would classify The Girl Who Could Breathe Under Water as more Women’s fiction than Christian fiction. There could definitely be triggers in this story for someone who is a victim of sexual assault or physical abuse but there is also hope for healing. I highly recommend reading the authors note at the end!

I was provided a digital copy of the book from the publisher through Netgalley for review purposes. This is my honest opinion of the story. No compensation received.