Fear of Drowning
Award-winning author, Susan White’s new book Fear of Drowning is an epic family saga set against the backdrop of two world wars, earthquakes, epidemics, prejudice, social injustice, greed and ambition. In the summer of 1917 circumstances and societal expectations put in motion a plan which causes a legacy of silence and deceit to filter down through five generations of women. One of the perpetrators of that deception, Lillianne McDonough is reaching the end of her life and feels compelled to lift the dark shadows from the past. Gradually secrets and lies are revealed, forgiveness and atonement are sought after and a sense of hope and freedom is passed to the next generation.
I have previously reviewed two of Ms. White’s books, The Memory Chair (2015) and Waiting for Still Water (2016), both of which I enjoyed very much. While some of her titles may be considered “Young Adult” she recently informed me that: “in my mind, the YA/adult distinction is more about marketing than readership.” That may be true, for Ms. White’s stories (at least the ones I have read) have an ageless readability about them. They neither “dumb down” nor unnecessarily sophisticate the written word, making the reader feel ignorant or unschooled. What she does best is write a good story, with characters that are crisply defined. Fear of Drowning is no different.